NWFSC Opens Activities Center & Recognizes $100,000 Janet Nadel Morell Endowment
Northwest Florida State College held a Grand Opening January 16 for the college’s new Activities Center and also recognized a major naming endowment in memory of the late Janet Nadel Morell of Niceville.
The Activities Center is the final phase of a $25.5 million construction and major renovation project that also included construction of a three-story Student Services Center completed in early 2012. The buildings are connected by a new central campus green-space quad and function as a hub of campus life on the college’s main campus in Niceville.
The college opened the ceremonies by announcing a major facility naming gift in memory of the late Janet Nadel Morell, formerly of Niceville, who passed away in 2004. “Facilities naming gifts provide important support for the college,” noted Lamar Conerly, NWFSC Foundation President, in recognizing the gift from family members Bob and Venita Morell of Niceville and Susan and David Cohen of Potomac, MD. The gift established the Janet Nadel Morell Endowment to name the large community conference room at the college’s Costa Leadership Institute, located on the third floor of the Student Services Center.
Earnings from the endowment will provide funds for equipment, instruction and program needs of the Costa Leadership Institute in memory of Morell, who moved to Niceville at age 79 and enjoyed the many community and cultural offerings of the college. Upon completion of the pledge, the endowment will total in excess of $100,000.
College president Dr. Ty Handy also thanked the family, noting “This gift provides long-term support for existing programs and assists us in achieving our mission of ‘Improving Lives’ at Northwest Florida State College.”
The ribbon cutting portion of the event centered on the 31,675 square foot Activities Center building which, along with the Student Services Center, were completed as a single project by Ajax Building Corporation and designed by Sam Marshall Architects of Pensacola.
The new NWFSC Activities Center houses the college's Academic Success Center, which offers a variety of free tutoring and academic support for students, a college store operated by Barnes & Noble, and the college's extensive Student Activities program. Offices of Florida's Great Northwest, an independent economic development organization, are also located in the Activities Center.
At the dedication for the facility, Dr. Ty Handy noted that, “In just the last five years, we’ve seen an 83% increase in the number of student visits to our Academic Success Center – more than 16,000 recorded visits in 2011-12 alone.” The Academic Success Center provides everything from free face-to-face tutoring, to an increasingly popular online tutoring service called Smarthinking, as well as a host of other support for students such as assistance with organizing and planning major projects and teaching techniques to reduce test anxiety.
Another key component of the new Activities Center is a Barnes & Noble College Store which occupies nearly half of the facility – more than triple the size of the college’s previous bookstore. Barnes & Noble has a long history of innovation and leadership on college campuses – with more than 700 college store operations across the nation serving more than 4.5 million students and 250,000 faculty.
“The Barnes & Noble partnership brings our students and this community everything from a Barnes & Noble café with a marvelous selection of Starbucks coffee – which some would argue is the most important part of the store – to a wide new array of learning technologies – everything from eTextbooks and textbook rentals to more traditional new and used print books, as well as a computer section for purchase of technologies such as Nook eReaders,” said Dr. Handy at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The college’s extensive Student Activities programs also occupy the new Activities Center facility. Dr. Handy noted that it was the Student Activities program name that was the inspiration for the building’s new name – the Activities Center. “Student Activities are a vital part of engaging students in campus life and it is these activities that enrich their lives and shape them as individuals and citizens,” said Handy. “Everything from Student Government to professional affiliation groups such as the Student Nurses Association, to Intramurals, Forensics Team, Brain Bowl Team, the African American Student Association and Campus Christian Fellowship all find a home on campus through the Student Activities office – along with more than 30 currently active student groups.”