The nearly 30,000 square-foot building will be constructed off of Palmetto street in Leesburg and behind Beacon’s Resnick Alpern Plung Residence Hall that was built by Evergreen Construction and opened in 2018.
“This is the piece that is going to take the institution from under 200 to 455 students; this facility will ensure that we can serve those students,” says Dr. George Hagerty, who notes the college had a 10-year plan to address student housing, yet it was moved up due to Beacon’s continuous growth.
Founded 30 years ago in 1989, Beacon College became the first institution in the country accredited to award bachelor’s degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities, ADHD and other learning differences, including some aspects of the autistic spectrum.
“We have been very proud of what we have been able to do in Lake County and Central Florida and we also know our mission covers 32 other states and 10 foreign countries,” Dr. Hagerty told the small crowd. “That is a real purpose to serve both the nation and the world the students that learn differently … This is a unique institution. We are very proud of our heritage, we are very proud of our legacy, and we intend to carry it forward.”
Vinay Jotwani, vice-president of preconstruction at Schmid Construction, says his firm ready and honored to work with Beacon.
“We look forward to the opportunity, we look forward to delivering a successful project to the college. We have seen the growth here for years, and we want to be part of the program in the development of the college,” says Vinay. “We are just thankful for the opportunity, and we’re looking forward to getting it started.”
Joel Martin, business development manager for Schmid Construction, says his company has been in operation since 2002 in the Clermont area.
“We have been looking forward to getting on campus and working with Beacon for quite a while,” says Joel. “This is a great experience for us, and it’s a great experience for Beacon because it shows how much they are growing in the community. Beacon College is putting Leesburg on the map.”
He says the goal is to have new residence hall completed by July 2020, just in time for next fall’s students to move into the building.