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Florida Polytechnic University Opens Its First Building

Dec 4, 2013

This model of the Florida Polytechnic University campus sits in the admissions center, which is now open to the public.
Credit Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University is still a work in progress. Travelers can see the iconic innovation, science and technology (IST) building from Interstate 4, just east of Lakeland. It's not done, but the admissions center building is open to the public.

Prospective students are able to register for tours online. Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker says this building brings the brochure to life.

"We try to talk frequently about the vision and we see our innovation science and technology building being built so we see it coming and it's happening," she said. "But it's something about being able to walk on campus and walk into a building where we can actually have our staff in place, we can greet families, we can show students what our campus is going to be like, so it becomes very real."

Program manager of construction Pete Karamitsanis led a tour through the IST building. That's the one still in the works that can be seen from driving on I-4.

Karamitsanis lauded the work of the building's architect, Spaniard Santiago Calatrava.

"He's visionary," Karamitsanis said. "We wanted something that if you and I sat down, we wouldn't come up with this. We wanted something to embody the spirit of the university and the fact that it's not just another university in Florida."

Florida Poly is the 12th university in the state and it focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs.