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40 Million Dollar Project on FAMU’s Capital Improvement Plan

By Giselle Thomas | Staff writer
On January 2, 2018

Blueprint for the FAMU Center for Access and Student Success
| Photo credit: JRA Architects, Inc. 

The Florida A&M (FAMU) Center for Access and Student Success, otherwise known as CASS has been actively in the works for several years.

The purpose of the building is to provide opportunities for prospective students; including graduate students.

Sameer Kapileshwari, the Associate Vice President of Facility Planning, Construction, and Safety is very excited about this project.

“With a building like CASS, which is going to centralize most of the student related services and create a true one-stop-shop,” Kapileshwari said.

FAMU’s infamous one-stop-shop, held in the beginning and of each semester, will now be a permanent building.  This 82,500 gross square area building is expected to house all of the main student services under one roof.  For instance, the CASS center will be large enough to accommodate financial aid, the scholarship office, service centers, and more.

“Services provided to FAMU students are scattered across our campus, mainly in Foote-Hilyer Administration building, Lucy Moten, and in some cases the modular buildings.  This physically decentralized service delivery model offered through really old facilities, often creates a very challenging and frustrating experiences for our students, “ Kapileshwari said.

The project is estimated to cost about 40 million dollars total.  The legislature has granted FAMU 16 million dollars so far, but FAMU has no contingency plan.

Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson said that FAMU will continue to use current offices if no government aid is available.

“If the legislature does not grant us the money to complete the project we still have to provide the services,” Hudson said.

Some of the money granted to FAMU is being used towards the project already.

“Some of the money goes toward building and is used for planning and scheduling the funds,” Hudson said.

The CASS building is targeted to service and accommodate everyone. The project is aimed at recruiting high school students to push their limit and to go above and beyond at a collegiate level.

Facilities Management graduate student Takeida Nelson says she is excited for this program.

“I know in the past FAMU was not big on renovating. I feel like it’s a much needed space. The rooms they’re providing for students is very useful and necessary. And is really big and it’s multi- functional, “ Nelson said.

“I think it is a very great. It’s something new that FAMU has not offered yet. It’s very new, so I think students will really enjoy because of  the functionality of the building itself,” Nelson added.

Former FAMU presidents and current president, Larry Robinson, have actively pushed for the building and funds for this project.

The CASS project one-stop shop is expected to be completed by summer 2019.


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