Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet transferred 2 acres of state land to the University of South Florida and All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for a new research facility.
The 300,000 square-foot facility is expected to generate 400 jobs, creating a “research, training and educational center to better care for pediatric patients,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
“The transfer of the 2 acres of land to the University of South Florida and All Children’s Hospital is great news for Florida families,” Scott said in the statement. “As a father and grandfather, I know how important it is to meet the health care needs of our children. We are happy to support All Children’s Hospital for the work they do to care for our youngest patients. This land transfer will enable the hospital to create jobs, conduct research and better serve their patients.”
The statement also said:
The Hospital reports that construction of the new facility will provide an economic boost to the local economy because the cost of construction will be between $65-$85 million and generate approximately 400 design and construction jobs. Once complete, the hospital plans to hire approximately 15 new research staff and six faculty positions with an average annual salary between $90,000 and $150,000. The facility is expected to house 40 research professionals including doctorate and post doctorate positions.
The new facility will be constructed on two vacant lots and used for a medical education and research center associated with the University of South Florida and the hospital. The facility will continue the public-private collaboration between the University of South Florida and the hospital to allow for joint research to combat childhood diseases and develop specific treatments with a focus on pediatric brain health, neuroscience, early brain development, memory and behavioral health.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for DEP’s Division of State Lands to transfer land that will do so much good for Florida families. I appreciate Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet’s willingness to use state-owned land in order to fulfill the scientific and medical research necessary to help our children.”
USF President Judy Genshaft said, “We appreciate all the support that Governor Scott, the members of the Florida Cabinet, Speaker Will Weatherford and the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation have provided for this project. Thanks to their efforts, the strong partnership that exists today between USF and All Children’s Hospital will continue to grow and together we will discover better and more effective treatments and cures for childhood illnesses in these state-of-the-art research facilities.”
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