Proposed satellite campus waits for Legislature vote

A partnership with a new Pasco-Hernando Community College may be in the works for USF, pending a vote from the Florida Legislature.

Ken Littlefield, state representative from Wesley Chapel, said in the Oct. 8 issue of The Laker, Land O’ Lakes’ local newspaper, that he plans to recommend the building of a new campus shared by USF and PHCC. The new $16.7 million facility has been proposed already by PHCC, and the school is still searching for 40-100 acres of land in the Wesley Chapel area for the construction.

Littlefield cited a similar arrangement between USF and Polk Community College. PCC and USF opened the Lakeland Center in 1983 to assist students in Polk, Highlands, Hardee and Hillsborough counties. Littlefield said the proposed PHCC campus would focus on medical education and services to students in the Wesley Chapel area.

The state Legislature has not yet addressed the proposal, and no formal proposition has been made to USF. One potential problem, however, could be Wesley Chapel’s proximity to USF’s Tampa campus, its largest one. The city is less than 20 miles from the Tampa campus.

The Laker quoted House Speaker Johnnie Byrd as saying the idea was a good one, and he would support the search for state funding for the project.