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Florida Poly's New Research Building Opens its Doors

LAKELAND, FL — Florida Polytechnic University unveiled its new Applied Research Center. The $47-million building expands the university's research capabilities and will further its mission to serve students and industry through excellence in education, discovery, and application of engineering and applied sciences.

At more than 90,000 square feet, the Applied Research Center (ARC) houses research and teaching laboratories, student design spaces, conference rooms, faculty offices, and study areas.

The university community was recently joined by elected officials and local leaders to celebrate the ARC's grand opening. Speakers included University President Randy Avent; Cliff Otto, Chairman of Florida Poly's Board of Trustees; Congressman Scott Franklin; Senator Kelli Stargel; and Representative Colleen Burton.

"Since 2014, students from across the country have chosen Florida Polytechnic because of the unique learning environment the university offers," Stargel said. "The ARC will ensure we continue to recruit top faculty and students who can feel confident we have the technology and resources they need to research and innovate."

The Polk County delegation backed Florida Poly as the Legislature approved funding to finalize the building — Florida Poly's second academic facility.

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"I am very proud to be a member of the Polk County legislative delegation. Each one of us has worked closely together to make sure this university continues to grow, serve students, bring economic development to Polk County and the entire Central Florida, and continues to enrich the lives of all Floridians," Burton said.

The ARC was designed to become a research hub and a magnet for industry. Its design complements the Innovation, Science, and Technology Building, featuring reflective windows and expansive views of the campus. The builder was Skanska USA, and the architecture firm was HOK.

"The future is bright for Florida Poly, and our ambitions are high. Our goal is to be a premier STEM university known for producing highly desirable graduates and new technology solutions," Avent said. "I strongly believe that with the new Applied Research Center, we are charging full speed toward that goal."

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