Update: College Withdraws Plans to Buy Park Land

Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping us save the Wickham Park scrub land. The newspaper article below published 9/24 states that the college has decided not to try and buy the land in Wickham Park. They have decided to just use the land they already have for their new buildings. I would suspect that this problem will arise again, so be prepared! The one thing I learned from this whole project is that what has happened to Wickham Park to-date is totally against what Joe Wickham wanted for the area. He wanted a conservation area, not a mess of county projects eating up the land!

Power to the people!

Here is the newspaper article -
Eastern Florida State College leaders have withdrawn a proposal to purchase 77 acres of Wickham Park to expand its operations. In a news release Monday afternoon, officials said they will instead construct new buildings on Melbourne campus property the college already owns.

“We’ve listened closely to the concerns expressed by some commissioners and others in our community and respect their views,” Eastern Florida President Jim Richey said in a statement. “As a result, we have decided to withdraw our proposal to purchase the park land.” He continued: “In the coming months, we’ll work to design a new plan to construct additional buildings on the existing Melbourne campus. Our goal remains the same: To best serve our students with new academic programs, including bachelor’s degrees in fast-growth job fields, in the years ahead.”

A FLORIDA TODAY request to interview Richey about the decision was denied on Monday; he is traveling to North Carolina to observe the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation process and cannot be reached by , Spokesman John Glisch said. phone The college had proposed building three new buildings on the land, which would serve programs in health sciences ; business; and science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM topics.

At a Brevard County Commission meeting Sept. 17, elected officials voted to table the sale in order to seek more feedback. The land -- 77 acres in the northeast corner of the 391-acre park – would have brought $3.85 million. At the meeting, members of the public raised concerns to the commission about the project and its potential effects on residents of the community, as well as on wildlife in the park, including such threatened species as scrub jays and gopher tortoises.

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