By Bonnie Mason

Local residents soon will have a college to call their own. Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) is nearing completion of its fifth full-service campus — the PHCC Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, located on Mansfield Blvd. at S.R. 56, adjacent to Wiregrass Ranch High, about a mile north of the Pasco County line. Although heavy rains saturated the site and led to delays in construction, the work that began in late 2011 is now moving forward smoothly and the multi-story urban-design campus is on schedule to open for classes by Jan. 2014.

A design committee comprised of PHCC administrators, faculty, staff and students provided guidance to Florida Architects, Inc., and Skanska USA Building, Inc., the project designer and construction manager, respectively. The result is an overall design unlike any of the other PHCC campuses. The Porter Campus — named for the Porter family, which donated the 60 acres of land on which the campus is being built, and is the developer of the Wiregrass Ranch community — is being built with the future student in mind. It features a four–story classroom building linked by a plaza to a separate two-story library building and an also-separate administration building, all of which are being built above a three-story parking garage.

“We’re building this way because the Porters, when they donated the land, indicated that they really wanted this campus to have that ‘urban feel’ because of the businesses that are going to be coming in (to the area) and the type of structures that we anticipate being around us,” Ken Burdzinski, PHCC’s vice president of administration and finance said at the March 28 meeting of the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) Economic Development Committee at American Consulting Engineers off S.R. 56.

Recently announced as filling the shoes as provost at the new Porter Campus will be Stanley Giannet, Ph.D., who currently holds the same position at PHCC’s north campus in Brooksville. He is set to take up his new position at the beginning of July.


Programs For Success

In addition to traditional general education classes that prepare students for career and university transfer opportunities once they earn their Associate (A.A or A.S.) degree, the Porter Campus reportedly will dedicate two floors solely to health care programs, which will offer the latest interactive teaching and simulation technology available.

Beginning in August of 2014, PHCC also will launch its first two Bachelor degree programs in science and nursing (BSN) and applied science (BAS), with majors in management and supervision, which should appeal to students looking to get into business professions. PHCC currently is awaiting approval from the state legislature to change its name, for which it already is collecting input from the community on its website at

PHCC’s business and workforce training career programs also are said to be an important feature at the new campus. Both health and business programs will train students for lucrative technology and medical careers which have high job growth expectation. Although program development has begun, the final determination of programs that will be available at the Porter Campus require approval by PHCC’s District Board of Trustees and its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).


Partnering For Programs

It is customary for PHCC to develop strong community partnerships with area hospitals and businesses near all of its campuses, and the Porter Campus is no different. Although details regarding the development of academic programs with university partners, local businesses and other community partners are not yet available, relationships are being developed and led by Dr. Randy Stovall, provost of the PHCC East Campus in Dade City, and the vice president of the WCCC’s Board of Directors. PHCC already has participated in some programs with the WCCC, including a recent Chamber-sponsored health and wellness fair.

More partnerships and events are expected as the opening of the Porter Campus nears.

PHCC’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch is projected to open with 1,500 full- and part-time students, similar to the enrollment at the opening of PHCC’s Spring Hill campus in 2010. And, with the I-75/S.R. 54/S.R. 56 corridor featuring one of the fastest-growing populations in Florida, significant growth is expected during the first few years that the new campus is open. Since the community college’s inception in 1972, the four existing PHCC campuses have awarded more than 32,000 degrees and certificates.

PHCC currently offers traditional classroom and online courses at its four campuses: the North Campus in Brooksville, East Campus in Dade City, Spring Hill Campus and the West Campus in New Port Richey. The Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch is expected to open in January 2014.

For more information about Pasco-Hernando Community College, visit, or call 1-(877) TRY-PHCC (879-7422).

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