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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Breaks Ground March 18 for New Kleist Health Education Center Building

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University breaks ground on a new building to house the FGCU Kleist Health Education Center, 10 a.m., Thursday, March 18 off FGCU Boulevard near the nearly constructed Sugden Welcome Center.

The new building will become the permanent home of the FGCU Kleist Health Education Center started in 2001 in Griffin Hall under the FGCU College of Health Professions. At that time, the Center incorporated the learning programs and displays previously associated with the Lee Health Education Center, which was sponsored by the Lee Memorial Health System.

Donors Eleanor and Peter Kleist, for whom the building is named, will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony. At the 2001 opening of the Center in Griffin Hall, the Kleists announced a $1 million gift specifically toward a new building on the FGCU campus to house the Center. The State of Florida matched the donation dollar-for-dollar.

"The FGCU Kleist Health Education Center is the only one of its kind in Florida," executive director Kathryn Kleist said. "It is designed to help participants of all ages learn to live a healthier lifestyle and show that learning about health is fun."

The Center features life-size displays, dynamic models and multimedia presentations. Interactive, animated exhibits with light and sound - reminiscent of a video arcade - help demonstrate good health habits and nutrition, and help explain the cycle of life to children, teens and adults.

Since its opening on the FGCU campus, more than 31,000 area students have participated in programs at the Center.

Nearly 14,000 children attended a program at the FGCU Kleist Health Education Center last school year. By 2005-06, the Center projects that participation will increase to 18,000 children.

The new building will house three teaching theaters and a small auditorium to accommodate growth in attendance and allow for an expansion of programs, such as education about obesity.

In addition, the building will utilize an electronic connection to the FGCU Broadcast Building. The connection will give the Center the capability to broadcast selected programs to
K-12 classrooms in counties where it is not feasible for students to travel to FGCU.

FGCU says completion of the Kleist Health Education Center Building is scheduled for late fall 2004.

Healthcare and education leaders from Southwest Florida are expected to attend.

For more information, contact associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.

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