Florida Poly begins construction of state-of-the-art Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building

Apr 04, 2024
Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building groundbreaking

The groundbreaking event for the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Florida, was held on Thursday, April 4.

Florida Polytechnic University leaders were joined by state and community officials on April 4 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building, a cutting-edge 40,000-square-foot academic facility designed to elevate the institution’s in-demand engineering programs.

The $15-million, two-story building will house research and development labs for a variety of engineering disciplines, staff and faculty offices, collaboration spaces, and a conference room. It will also feature an exterior courtyard, which will connect to the Barnett Applied Research Center (BARC) providing additional recreation space. The building’s modern design and streamlined functionality were developed to enhance the University’s leading-edge engineering degree offerings.   

“The Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building embodies our University’s unwavering commitment to excellence in engineering education,” said Dr. Randy K. Avent, president of Florida Poly. “This new facility will not only expand our capacity for innovative research and academic development but will also provide an enriching environment where students can excel and emerge as leaders in their fields.”  

As part of the University’s ongoing exponential growth, the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building will be the third academic facility on campus. It will be located on the northwest side of campus, between the BARC and the IFF Global Citrus Innovation Center. Construction is nearing completion on a third student residence hall set to open this fall.

The building’s name honors former University Trustee Gary C. Wendt, who has been involved with Florida Poly since 2017. Through his steadfast support over the years, Wendt has played a pivotal role in guiding the University toward innovative methods to ensure academic excellence and foster robust student development. Additionally, his generous $2 million contribution has bolstered the establishment of new leadership initiatives for students. 

Leadership is a priority in Wendt’s life and his philanthropy.

“What I learned a long time ago is getting things done in a large organization is not easy. You need to communicate, be persuasive, be consistent, have a strong belief in what you’re doing, and you have to be a leader,” he said. “I’m just as pleased as I can be to be part of this. It’s up to you now to keep this institution going.”

Construction of the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building is expected to be completed by the summer of 2025. The design-build and construction management firm in charge of the project is Charles Perry Partners, Inc.

“Florida Poly’s new, state-of-the-art engineering building is going to be a huge catalyst for shaping the future of engineering education and today,” said John Weaver, regional vice president of CPPI Central Florida. “CPPI proudly stands alongside our design/build team partners – DLR Group, BBM Structural, and TLC Engineering – at its groundbreaking. Together, we eagerly anticipate the journey ahead, delivering innovative and transformative projects for the Florida Poly community.” 


Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications