Nov. 7 ribbon-cutting set for Suncoast Technical College in North Port and Shannon Staub Library

Local leaders welcome the public to join in the celebration of the $27.7-million facilities

The Suncoast Technical College-North Port and the Shannon Staub Library (to the right) are located at 4445 Career Lane in North Port. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Schools

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, elected officials and administrators from the Sarasota County School District, Sarasota County Government and the City of North Port City will cut the ribbon to dedicate Suncoast Technical College-North Port and the Shannon Staub Library, the Sarasota County School District has announced.

The project is the result of agreements among the School Board, the County Commission and the North Port City Commission to share the facility and costs for the benefit of the public, a news release explains. The college includes a conference center jointly funded by Sarasota County Schools and the City of North Port, the release adds.

The budgeted and projected final cost for all components of the two-story, 77,500-square-foot facility — including furniture, fixtures and equipment — is $27.7 million, the release points out. “The design includes ideas shared by community members at public forums in 2015,” the release notes.

The project team members are SchenkelShultz Architecture, Willis Smith Construction, Jensen and Group Engineering Consultants, DWJA Landscape Architects, Engineering Matrix and PDES Design Group.

Suncoast Technical College-North Port, which opened to students on Oct. 17, is the latest career and technical education facility of the Sarasota County Schools, the release points out, while the Shannon Staub Library is the newest addition to Sarasota County Libraries. The library will open on Nov. 7.

“This project is an example of government collaboration at its finest,” said Superintendent of Schools Todd Bowden in the release. “It allows us to serve students and employers in North Port and throughout the region with programs that develop the skills needed for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce — while providing all residents and visitors with a public library.”

Sarabeth Kalajian, director of the county’s Libraries and Historical Resources Department, added in the release, “The Shannon Staub Library gives the citizens of North Port a much-needed second library to share with STC-North Port students. The unique partnership we formed for this project helped us find shared resources, cost savings and efficiencies in the design and construction phases. The team will continue to work together to ensure that this unique learning center serves students, library patrons and the entire community for years to come.”

Shannon Staub is a former Sarasota County commissioner and one of the founders of the Library Foundation for Sarasota County. Contributed photo

The Shannon Staub Library features a multimedia collection of print and digital resources for all ages, meeting and study rooms, a Friends of the Library Bookstore, outdoor gardens with comfortable seating, a children’s area and a high-tech teen center, the release explains. It also includes Creation Station — a center with tools such as a 3D printer and a laser cutter, allowing users to create a variety of hands-on projects.

Suncoast Technical College-North Port houses a Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts program with a kitchen adjacent to the conference center, much like the one at the college’s Sarasota campus, the release continues. Other programs, such as Accounting, Business Management, Carpentry, Industrial Technologies, Emergency Medical Technician, General Equivalency Diploma and English for Speakers of Other Languages, “will prepare high school students for the workforce, allow adult students to hone their skills and develop new ones, provide Adult & Community Enrichment classes, and help local businesses and industries find qualified employees,” the release says. “Additional courses leading to licensing and certification in a variety of other fields will be added later,” the release notes.

The college is enrolling students for classes that will start in January on the North Port campus, the release points out. Financial aid is available for qualifying students, the release adds.

Suncoast Technical College-North Port and the Shannon Staub Library are located at 4445 Career Lane in North Port. To reach them, drivers on Interstate 75 should take Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Boulevard) and then make a right at the first stoplight (Cranberry Boulevard). The college and library will be on the right.