FIU and Broward College move in together

Krono Lescano / Contributing Writer

FIU has left its Broward Pines location and has moved into a new building in Miramar.

This time, it’s sharing its space with a college.

FIU at I-75 and Broward College’s Miramar West Center are now both officially open at the same newly-built and state-of-the-art facility.

The partnership came to fruition when Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr. approached his friend, University President Mark B. Rosenberg, in hopes of creating a new experience for both of their institutions’ students.

This won’t be the first time the two schools have collaborated.


A classroom at FIU I-75 – furniture includes built-in power for charging electronics.

FIU and Broward College have been partners in previous projects in the Broward and downtown Fort Lauderdale areas, which is something Armstrong reminded people who attended the construction ceremony in February.

FIU moved to Pembroke Pines in 2001 and soon became a part of an academic village that was set up by the city.

There, FIU shared space with Pembroke Pines Charter High School and a Broward County regional library. The idea was that from ninth grade to college graduation, a student had everything he or she needed.

“It sounded great on paper, but then in execution, there were some challenges,” said Maria Salazar, assistant director of Broward Programs. “We outgrew the space.”

At the Pines Center, FIU had an exclusive-use wing to use during the day, but the other 75 percent of the building was used by the high school. FIU’s students wouldn’t be able to use this area until after 4 p.m.

Salazar said the issue was that the Academic Village’s space was designed for high school students and it didn’t fit the needs of the University students and faculty alike.

Now, FIU is sharing a building with students who share the same needs.

FIU and Broward College split up the new building among them so that the latter would take the first and second floors and the University would take the other two. Despite only having two floors for its use, FIU students at the new location now have classes that are both larger and technically on-par with the feel they’re accustomed to.

“We’ve always given top service within Broward,” Salazar said. “But now we feel like students will be that much more excited about being here.”

The 89,000-square-foot building was designed by Perkins + Will and was built by Kaufman Lynn Construction, the company behind BBC’s new housing project.

The modern student’s dependence on electronics was taken into consideration when modeling the facility and most of the furniture comes with built-in power for charging.

The first floor of FIU I-75 has a large student commons and a Subway that will open in October.

On the first floor, there is a large student commons and a Subway that will open by the beginning of October. In addition, the building is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design because of the collaborators’ efforts to go green.

Despite these features, the new location does not meet state criteria to be called a campus and is instead referred to as an academic center. However, Salazar and Coordinator for Student Life Diana Arcentales think the center has the vibe of a college campus.

“It feels like a campus. It feels collegiate,” they said.

FIU at I-75 has programs that focus on graduates in business, engineering and education among others, but also has plans of study for undergraduates in liberal studies and construction management.

During the construction ceremony, Broward College’s President J. David Armstrong said that the center’s undergraduate students could be from Broward College.

“This partnership and this new location is going to help give even more Broward College students the opportunity to transfer to the great institution that FIU is,” said President Armstrong.

Bairu Chen, a junior in accounting, is a transfer student from Broward College and is taking two classes at FIU I-75. He likes the convenience, since he’s from the area.

“I like that it’s new and close to home,” said Chen.


Images courtesy of Krono Lescano / FIUSM Staff

Salazar said that even if students don’t want to transfer into one of the majors offered at FIU at I-75, they can still drop off paperwork to eventually transfer and make the commute to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus or BBC.

The center has its own advising offices for students, but not all of FIU OneStop’s services are provided there.

The “first phase of Pantherization,” as the center’s staff calls it, has taken place.

Come January, more classes are said to be added. Over the next few years, FIU hopes to see enrollment increase at FIU at I-75. Salazar said that there is possibility of another building, just like the new one, being built alongside it, as well as the addition of a parking garage.

“We’ve taken the approach as working as partners, not just because we’re sharing the space, but because we all have the same mission–the students,” said Salazar.

Be the first to comment on "FIU and Broward College move in together"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.