St. Petersburg College will host a ribbon cutting and block party to celebrate the grand opening of the new Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, at the center at 1300 22nd St. S. The event is free and open to the public.
The new 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the art center will serve as the college’s flagship campus and community center for south St. Petersburg and will open for classes for the Fall 2015 term, which begins Aug. 17. The new campus is named in honor of the late Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr., a longtime legislator and a Florida Commissioner of Education. Jamerson, a graduate of St. Petersburg College, was one of the most prominent politicians in the state of Florida and a fierce advocate for education.
The event will include a grand opening ceremony, with presentations by prominent local officials and community activists, and a daylong block party, with:
- Tours of the new facility
- Live entertainment, including performances by the Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Choir, the Lakewood High School Jazz Band and Saxophonist Shawn Brown
- Free barbeque and refreshments
- A “Kids Zone” sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation Department
- An appearance by Raymond, the mascot of the Tampa Bay Rays
- Full registration services
- Free vouchers for SPC’s “Learn to Earn” career development courses
- Complimentary career and academic advising
- Assistance with financial aid services
- Roughly three dozen vendors and community organizations
The college application fee will be waived during the event, a $40 savings.
Guest speakers will include:
- Rick Kriseman, Mayor, City of St. Petersburg
- Alex Glenn, President, Duke Energy, Florida
- William D. Law, Jr., President, St. Petersburg College
- Kevin Gordon, Provost, Midtown Center, St. Petersburg College
- Niki Johnson, Vice President of the Midtown Center Student Government Association
- Alexis Clavizzao, President of the Downtown Center Student Government Association
In honor of their outstanding service to the community, St. Petersburg College will award six honorary Bachelor of Arts in College and Community Services degrees to distinguished members of the community during the grand opening event.
St. Petersburg College has long been dedicated to providing educational opportunities in Midtown. The original 10,000-square-foot Midtown Center at 1048 22nd St. So., opened in 2003 as part of a $2 million St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s HOPE VI project. It has been renamed the Cecil B. Keene, Sr. Student Achievement Center, in honor of the late educator and SPC Board of Trustees member, who died in 2008.
In 2012, as demand for classes and community involvement grew, SPC’s Board of Trustees approved a $14 million expenditure to build the new three-story building on land leased from the City of St. Petersburg. The new center includes multiple classrooms, two science labs, three computer labs, a book store, a community room, and a career center.
Beginning this fall, programs will be offered in:
- Advanced Manufacturing (Certificate)
- Clinical Medical Assisting (Certificate)
- Computer Support CompTIA A+ (Certificate)
- Early Childhood Education (Certificate)
- Entrepreneurship (Associate in Science & Certificate)
- Human Services (Associate in Science & Certificate)
- Associate in Arts transfer degree