An ancient building is scheduled to be demolished in downtown St. Augustine. But, don’t expect the characteristic fuss and protest that come with demolition in a historic city when this old edifice goes bye-bye.
The Flagler College Communication building on Cordova Street has been the key source of complaints from communication students and faculty alike for many years now. Termite infestations, lack of proper equipment, lack of space and outdated computers are just a few of the complaints often given by everyone involved in the communication program. Flagler College President William Abare says that all of that griping will soon be a thing of the past.
“Enrollment in Flagler’s communication program has continued to grow and the facilities for our staff and students needed to be improved,” said Abare.
When Dr. Tracy Halcomb first heard about the plans for a new building, she wasn’t quick to be hopeful.
“There will be a new classroom building built. And [communications] will have some space allotted for it but that is the best we can hope for at this time,” said Halcomb. “Maybe we’ll get half a building?”
Halcomb can have faith, though. The proposed plans call for not one but three new communications buildings to be built over the next two to three years.
The plans call for communication faculty to be moved to 66 Cuna Street (a building across the street from the current communication building that Flagler College purchased in December 2010) at the start of construction. Then, a new building will be built in the parking lot east of the current communications building.
Once that first building is up, crews will demolish the old building before constructing the last two buildings to complete the communications complex.
The plans for the communication building still have a long road ahead of them before construction can begin, however.
“We will invite five to seven contractors to bid on the project after the plans are approved by the Planning and Zoning Board, the City Commission and the Historic Architecural Review Board,” said Abare.
Abare expects the project to cost the school between $5 and $5.5 million.