On Monday and Tuesday of this week I was at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred for meetings.
CREC recently tore down a delapidated dormitory on campus (a small crowd showed up to cheer it on!) to give way to a new dormitory. Across IFAS, we have a range of ages of dormitories, and those who have lived on site have memories. Several IFAS REC’s are fundraising to build new dormitories, including Southwest Florida REC in Immokalee, the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach, and the Tropical REC in Homestead. The Beef Teaching Unit on campus in Gainesville was fortunate enough to receive state funding for a new building, because a former resident (who had great tales of rodents) championed the funding as a state legislator. Dormitories provide opportunities for graduate students to live on site, without needing to find local (and difficult to find) housing.
CREC is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and some of their facilities show their historical perspective (how’s that for polite wording!) just like many other IFAS Facilities. This is one of the big issues facing the future of our aging agricultural infrastructures nationally at land grant universities. Dr. Payne is on a national committee looking at possible solutions.