Yesterday, at 9 A.M. on August 18th, 2022, the Applied Research Center (ARC) held its grand opening, just outside of the ARC itself on Florida Polytechnic University’s campus. The ARC is Florida Polytechnic University’s second academic facility, worth $47 million and spanning 90,000+ square feet. It was designed by the architecture firm HOK, and will “house research and teaching laboratories, student design spaces, conference rooms, and faculty offices,” according to Florida Polytechnic University’s website. The Grand Opening marks the end of a period of construction that began in May of 2020, a little over two years.
The event began outside in the summer heat beneath a white tent, where speakers gushed about the significance of the ARC and the future of the University to the crowd of students, staff, faculty, journalists, investors, and other community members.
Randy Avent, Florida Poly’s President, hosted. He was joined by visiting legislators such as Scott Franklin, Kelli Stargel, and Colleen Burton of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida Senate, and the Florida House of Representatives, respectively.
Onlookers gathered around to watch Randy Avent and Cliff Otto, the Chairman of Florida Poly’s Board of Trustees, cut the ribbon and officially open the building to the public.
Visitors poured in through the building’s front doors to see the newly unveiled interior. At the entrance were souvenirs to grab – aluminum cups, a grand opening paperweight, and other memorabilia. The wide, open, brightly lit space easily contained the majority of the crowd, while entryways into the ARC’s long, peripheral hallways coaxed more curious visitors away from the center and through a gallery of laboratories, offices, and workspaces.
The building’s construction was finished, but the interior was not fully furnished. Many of the offices and laboratories appeared to have furniture, devices, and mementos that were previously in the IST – evidence that staff and faculty had been moving in in the days before the Grand Opening.
Photos by Ezekiel Huynh for Layers