Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president of Lee University Relations, said the university listened to students when it came to the need for constructing a new building which will be located on the former First Baptist Church property on Church Street.
Hammond was the guest speaker at MainStreet Cleveland Monday.
Hammond said the building will be 40,000 square feet in size.
“A lot of times the way things happen at Lee is students let us know which way to go,” Hammond said. “Students are creating terrific movies and videos on their phones.”
That is what has spurred the need for a new Communications building.
He also indicated officials are looking at possibly tearing down a portion of the Church Street Annex which includes the building on North Ocoee Street.
A groundbreaking could take place within the next six months.
The student population at Lee is more than 4,900.
“Let me tell you what is in that number,” Hammond said. “Lee has been doing a lot of thinking over the past decade.”
Hammond was speaking of where the school wanted to be in student population and providing quality education.
The number of enrolled students this year also reflects the online study courses offered by Lee.
“Lee helps the students get from [point] ‘A’ to ‘B,” Hammond said. “When I talk to alumni, they say that is what Lee did for me. They got me from ‘A’ to ‘B.’”
“We really believe we are close to the number of ... where we want to be,” Hammond said of the growth of the university. “Growth at Lee has been very exciting.”
“When you get to that number, you look at growth in other ways — development in other ways.”
Hammond said programs such as online instruction and continuing education are in place.
“With the popularity of online courses, we took a look at that, but we didn’t think we could deliver a [quality] Lee product,” in the past, Hammond said.
Lee now offers some online courses as the university’s direction continues to change.