New SCTI Campus Seen Driving South Sarasota Growth


Sarasota County Technical Institute (SCTI) cleared a major hurdle for the establishment of a new campus in South Sarasota County. The school, which offers affordable education, has been granted a $3 million allocation under the record $77-billion Florida state budget for 2014–2015.

The SCTI state funding is the last piece that school authorities have been waiting for to implement the establishment of the new Sarasota campus. The amount will complement the $18 million that the Sarasota County School Board has already set for the construction of the new campus to be located in North Port which has the largest working-age population in the county.

Potential Toledo location

New SCTI Campus Seen Driving South Sarasota Growth

SCTI officials have yet to announce the new campus’s location. Nonetheless, there are reports that it will be built somewhere in the stretch of Toledo Blvd. which is also home ground for popular North Port communities, like those at the Bobcat Golf & Country Club. There are also expectations that the SCTI South Sarasota campus will commence operations sometime in 2015 or 2016.

The new campus is likewise expected to be a major growth driver for opening job opportunities to local residents. It was estimated that the Sunshine State has 285,000 job openings, but there’s a huge skills gap which needs to be addressed before these positions can be filled.

SCTI opening a new facility in North Port can contribute much in filling this gap, particularly in identified areas where skills are in demand, like industrial, high-tech, and medical support services. Besides its regular courses the school also offers adult education. From 13 programs when it opened in 1967, SCTI now offers 39 programs covering Business Technologies, Restaurant & Food Services, Emergency Medical Services, Health Science, Cosmetology, Child Care Careers, Veterinary Assisting, Automotive & Marine Technologies, Fire Science, Criminal Justice, Precision Machining, and Drafting.

Added boon for property values

Several other major education projects in Sarasota-Manatee have likewise been included in the state’s new budget set for implementation starting July. This added impetus for local property values includes $8.7 million for the construction of a new library at the State College of Florida, replacing a 36-year old facility in its Bradenton campus. The New College of Florida is another beneficiary, with $3.6 million allocated for repairs and maintenance in its west Sarasota campus.

In addition, the state budget allotted $1.88 million to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program of University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. Also, $1.6 million budget was set aside to support the continuing enrolment growth at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lakewood Ranch. IMG Academy, the privately owned sports-training center in Bradenton also got $5 million state funding.

Likewise receiving state budget allocations were the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County ($500,000) and Marie Selby Gardens ($500,000). The region’s hosting of the Modern Pentathlon 2014 also got a $250,000 allocation from the state budget. In Nokomis, residents will be glad to note that state funds have also been set aside for the cleanup of Dona Bay.