FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Construction has been a pretty common sight at Edison State College over the last few years. As the student population grows, so does the campus. But it seems with that growth, come the requisite growing pains.
The Lee County campus was buzzing with activity Tuesday as students returned to class for the fall semester.
"Another year full of fun," said Student Government President Eli Romero. "A lot of things going on in the campus."
"I'm very excited," said student Jessica Cummings as she greeted new freshmen outside the student union. "it's nice to see how everything is changing."
Part of the change, is growing enrollment.
"The growth from 2006 to 2010 was greater than 50%," said Kevin Coughlin, the Dean of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness.
It seems recent controversies-- ranging from faculty confidence in college president Dr. Kenneth Walker to course swapping-- aren't keeping students away.
"As of today, compared to this time last year our head count is up roughly 3 %. We're approaching 17,000," Coughlin said. "The course swapping issue involved a very small percentage of our graduates from very few of our programs and those problems have been resolved."
For current students, the focus is on the future, not on issues of the past.
"What we want to do here at Edison is provide an environment where the students can have fun, have a good time, but also focus on their studies," Romero said.
Many students and administrators are looking forward to the addition of a residence hall at the Lee County campus. The dorms are currently under construction. They are expected to be ready for occupancy by more than 300 students, by the start of the fall semester next year.
The college will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The school opened a campus in Collier County in 1992 and one in Charlotte County in 1997. It also has a satellite campus in Labelle.