today announced it is expanding its educational facilities at its Naples
campus. The additional facilities will enable the university to accommodate continued strong enrollment growth.
The university has entered into a lease-purchase agreement with Stock Development to acquire a two-story office building located at 2647 Northbrooke Drive, near the current main George Gaynor Building. The university will develop the first floor and occupy part of the second floor, with Stock Development maintaining its headquarters at the location.
The 25,000-square-feet of space on the ground floor of the building is currently being converted into classrooms for the Schools of Allied Health and Technology. There also will be a community room, which will accommodate up to 300 people for special events.
“This multi-million-dollar expansion nearly doubles the amount of space we currently have dedicated to our Allied Health and Technology programs and gives us for the first time a large community hall that will be available to the community on a limited basis,” said Terry McMahan, President of Hodges University. “And since we have the naming rights to the building, we are able to further elevate our exposure within the Naples area.”
The new Science and Technology Building will house the Allied Health and Technology faculty; medical assisting, chemistry and biology labs; computer classrooms; and the university’s advancement department. Many of these functions are currently housed in a modular building that will be removed, giving the university further room to expand. The building also will be home to the France Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL).
The decision to expand the Naples campus comes as Hodges continues to experience strong enrollment. “The economic recession and high unemployment rate have prompted more people to go back to school in search of career-oriented educational programs,” McMahan said. “For the current winter semester, our institution-wide enrollment stands at approximately 2,700 students. That is up from 2,228 around the same time a year ago.”
The School of Allied Health is the single largest academic program at Hodges University offering degrees in Health Administration, Health Studies, Health Information Technology and Medical Assisting. The School of Technology is one of the university’s fastest growing academic programs offering degrees in Computer Information Technology, Digital Design and Graphics, and Information Systems Management.
McMahan noted that as the university ran out of classroom space in its existing facilities administrators had to be more creative in scheduling, such as offering more courses online and offering afternoon classes on campus for the first time. This latest facilities expansion should enable the university to accommodate enrollment for several years.