Sarasota News Leader

06/06/2014

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But while the amount vetoed this year is only a fraction of what it was back then, more than one local project was eliminated this week. New College of Florida, for example, is losing out on $1.6 million that was allocated by the Legislature for renovations to the Hamilton Center, a 1960s-era building that sits on the eastern half of the college's campus. According to John Martin, New College vice president for finance and administration, Hamilton houses student affairs offices and classrooms, and it needs work. Much of the plans for the $1.6 million included simply bringing the structure up to code. "That build- ing actually doesn't have restrooms," Martin tells The Sarasota News Leader. "You've got to go out of your building, across the plaza, into another building." The college keeps a running list of capi- tal improvement projects it would like to make; this was the second year the Hamilton upgrades have been on that list. The campus as a whole features a number of aging build- ings: 40 percent of its space is more than 50 years old, and seven of its buildings were con- structed in the 1920s. One saving grace: Scott did preserve $2.8 million intended for utilities and infrastruc- ture upgrades at the college. That means the school can upgrade its electrical system, its plumbing — "the very basic needs" in Martin's words. He says the college can use some of that funding to make up for the loss of money for the Hamilton Center upgrades. "I don't want to make it sound like we didn't need that $1.6 million," Martin adds, "but it's A map of the New College of Florida campus. Photo courtesy New College Sarasota News Leader June 6, 2014 Page 13

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