By Aziza Jackson
LAKELAND, Fla. — Florida Southern College (FSC) recently broke ground on its new School of Physical Therapy, a facility that will supply highly trained physical therapists to healthcare facilities in central Florida and beyond. The new physical therapy school will be strategically located on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland, less than a mile from FSC’s main campus.
Renovation and construction work is underway on an existing 6,500-square-foot building, with an 11,000-square-foot addition to come. The structure will serve as an addition to the Dixieland corridor, a historic district in Lakeland. Scheduled to open in August 2019, the building will include faculty offices, classrooms, and a state-of-the-art lab.
“This is another great, historic occasion as we break ground for our new School of Physical Therapy,” said FSC President Anne Kerr, who introduced the groundbreaking event as part of National Physical Therapy Month in October . “We will have about 300 students studying here,” she added. “This will be one of the finest doctoral programs for physical therapy in the nation.”
The mission of the School of Physical Therapy is to prepare entry-level physical therapy practitioners through dynamic engaged learning experiences and equip them with skills to provide patient-centered, evidence based care, and have a positive impact on the community.
Graduates of the program will be considered clinical doctors similar to physicians, dentists and podiatrists and provide services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatients and inpatients clinics, home health agencies and nursing and assisted living facilities.
Locally based Wallis Murphey Boyington (WMB) Architects will serve as the project’s architect and Rodda Construction will complete construction work. Mike Murphey, WMB partner with ROI Solutions, said the building’s design is inspired by the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, notably including elements reminiscent of the colored-glass “textile blocks” Wright incorporated into his designs for the Florida Southern campus.
“What a wonderful way to expose those design elements to the public, to increase the exposure of Florida Southern to thousands of people each day on Florida Avenue,” said Murphey.