PBSC Loxahatchee Groves Campus Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

PBSC President Ava Parker, Dr. Dennis Gallon, Administrator Wendy Link and Dean Kimberly Lancaster prepare to cut the cake.

Palm Beach State College recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Loxahatchee Groves campus with a small outdoor reception and updates on enrollment, community partnerships and expansion plans.

The Dennis P. Gallon campus, named for the college’s longtime former president, opened as the fifth campus on February 27, 2017, to over 700 students. Today, it serves more than 5,000 students per year.

During the district board meeting on campus on May 10, Kimberly Lancaster, dean of academic affairs, and science teachers Dr. Vetaley Stashenko and Candace Walker highlighted improvements in educational technology, in particularly the virtual anatomy lab using 3D technology, and strategic partnerships that have elevated instruction and strengthened ties in western communities. Several community leaders and elected officials attended the meeting and praised the campus and its leaders.

“Thank you for all you do for us,” Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig said.

“We look forward to bringing the Dental and Medical Services Technology Building here,” added Loxahatchee Groves Mayor Robert Shorr. “We look forward to this next phase.”

Shorr was referring to the college’s plans to construct the second building, pending final approval of the $25 million that lawmakers included in next year’s state budget. Currently, the campus comprises a three-story, 50,000 square foot multipurpose building with classrooms, offices, student support services, computer labs, and a 250-seat lecture hall. With the new building, the college plans to move its dental health education programs currently housed in a 60-year-old structure on the Lake Worth campus.

In addition to its partnership with the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and other businesses and organizations, the campus has also partnered with Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School to host teacher professional development.

“The Loxahatchee Groves campus is very important to Wellington as it not only reflects the region’s workforce, but more specifically the unique needs of Wellington’s business community,” said Scott Sweigart, president of the Wellington House. “As a medical hub, the talents coming out of this campus will undoubtedly be our future leaders.”

Other noted highlights include plans for the Julie and John Kime Library Resource Center on the third floor landing of the existing building to give students access to some of the services available on other campuses. The college also celebrated philanthropist Frank DiMino.

After the board meeting, attendees came out for the celebration, where President Ava Parker recognized Lancaster for her leadership and campus employees, as well as Gallon and Board Chair Wendy Link for their role. in building the campus. Gallon again expressed his gratitude for the campus named in his honor. “I’m very proud of the work being done here,” he said. “It is certainly a testament to the hard work and dedication that will enable this institution to continue to meet the educational needs of the citizens of this county.”

Lancaster said with the pandemic coming three years after campus opened, it was important to have the celebration.

“It’s really to refresh and remind the community that Palm Beach State is here and we’re here to support dual enrollment, associate of arts degree, health science programs, computer programs and to support employers in the community. ”

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