Florida Gulf Coast University opens newly built Water School

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FGCU Water School

Florida Gulf Coast University opens newly built Water School and had its first class on Friday.

The Water School came to be during SWFL’s harmful algal bloom crisis in 2018, with professors and students diving into our water quality and its impacts on people and the environment.

Trinity Allan, FGCU’s Research Assistant said, “It’s given us a lot of resources that we didn’t previously have the building itself, the funding, the new equipment, everything that goes along with it.”

Barry Rosen, a Professor at FGCU’s Water School is an expert in algal blooms.

“We are going to be the nucleus and the mecca that people can come to. People have already been bringing me samples for the last four years. Last three years, I should say. And going forward, they’ll know they’re going to the Water School and bringing samples and I’ll be looking at them,” Rosen said.

Rosen said that is what’s in your water. And if it’s harmful, we’ll know that. If it’s harmless, we’ll know that too.

And this new home will not only benefit students but the community too.

“We have everything at our disposal, we can do genetics, we can do morphology of the blooms, we can do harmful algal bloom aerosolization, to figure out what’s coming out of the blooms that might harm people,” Rosen said.

FGCU’s new Water School building is four stories, seats 1,250, and has over 12 classrooms. All for the purpose of teaching, learning, and getting answers.

With all the new space, FGCU can turn ideas into impact.

Allan thinks this building may make FGCU known for something new.

“Since 2012, 2013 FGCU has been known as dunk city because of our infamous basketball run. But now hopefully with the creation of the Water School, it’ll be known more for its water quality research,” Allan said.

The Water School cost nearly $58 million. The money is from a state fund that comes from taxpayer dollars.

There is one more finishing touch, the aquarium room which will soon be filled with tanks, fish, and seagrass all to continue doing research and getting answers.

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