HCC SouthShore Campus worth every penny

Ruskin College

HCC campus in Ruskin

Sure there were cost over runs. Lesson learned. Sometimes however it is not so much what something costs, it’s what you get. In this case, the community of Ruskin got iconic architecture that is not only pleasing to the eye but also to the environment. Lakeland’s campus got Frank Lloyd Wright and Ruskin proudly got architect Everett Henderson Jr. As a  LEED certified building it will save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on energy and water costs.  

Raised parking areas direct water run off into the ground; classroom lights are programmed to go off when no one is in the room; 99% of the rooms face outside to take advantage of natural light; a 300,000 gallon storage pond for rainwater runoff doubles as a design element and  provides the campus with water for toilets and irrigation. The list goes on. 

The surrounding community has also taken the campus to heart. Student attendance is already pushing 4,000 which is more than twice the number originally anticipated. Many save on gas, driving to this campus closer to home. 

The criticism for cost over runs did not include the fact that the land for the entire 60 acre campus was donated by Ruskin founding family, the Dickmans. This is the same family who cared so much for the community that they donated the land for the first college in Ruskin over 100 years ago.  

John Ruskin once said “When we build, let us build for the ages. Will our children’s children say ‘see, they did this for us?’ ” I think Ruskin would be proud of this campus building located in the community which bears his name. 

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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