Florida A&M University announced earlier this week that it had acquired the former FAMU Credit Union building, located at 1550 Melvin St.
It was previously owned by Sharon Letterman-Hicks, who is the owner of P&P Communications, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition and a longtime adviser to former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. The building will be used to support the university’s “Boldly Striking” strategic initiative, house the cardiopulmonary sciences program, and help the School of Allied Health Sciences attain higher licensure ratings.
FAMU President Larry Robinson said he is hopeful that the school’s passage rates on state exams will start trending upward as a result of the acquisition.
“We’re likely to see those numbers improve over the years,” Robinson said in a release.
The building will be known as the Allied Health Professional Learning Center.
“This address was once the place where Tallahassee residents banked their money and invested in their future,” Robinson added.
The funding for the purchase of the building came from the federal Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities program award grant, which is a Title III program. The building was purchased on Oct. 31 for $641,000, according to FAMU.
The goal is to have the building ready by August 2024, and it will house the six divisions and nine programs in the School of Allied Health Sciences, which currently has 1,400 students under one roof in its building on campus north of Lee Hall, which is very convenient for the students. According to Jasiah Mike, a 21-year-old third-year student majoring in cardiopulmonary science, “It’ll be really cool to have a medical facility close to campus that we can use to practice instead of going all the way to HCA (Florida Capital Hospital) or finding some other out-source location,” and “we’ll hopefully see a lot more people who look like us that we can actually treat. It’s definitely a plus.”
Mary Simmons, the school’s dean, said in a release, “It is a momentous occasion, our diverse range of programs ensures that we are at the forefront of healthcare education, with the acquisition of this new building, we are poised to revolutionize the way we educate our students, provide experiential learning opportunities and foster faculty development.”
Robinson also said, “In a similar vein, this facility will now be used to advance the future of Allied Health Sciences to benefit our faculty, students, staff and this community.”