Published: Jun 02, 2014 10:20 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, FL.--A big expansion is coming to one of the hottest parts of southwest Florida and with it the potential of hundreds of high-paying jobs.

Governor Rick Scott just approved millions of dollars IHub; a research center off Alico road between FGCU and Southwest Florida International Airport.

The Florida Gulf Coast University Innovation Hub is planned to be a 1.2 million square foot campus that will house renewable energy research facilities.
Governor Rick Scott approved $7-million from the state's budget for the project.

"We think we will be a magnet to draw other businesses and industries to that site," said FGCU president Wilson Bradshaw.

FGCU also plans to use the facility for their own energy projects.

"I think this will give our engineering and science students to have a place to do hands-on research," said Bradshaw.

IHub plans to recruit from both large and start-up companies to research and develop all kinds of renewable energy products.
"By doing this, it helps to fast-track the university and bring this research area on par with other research parks in the state," said Rich Galvano with Galvano Development.

IHub is expected to create hundreds of jobs from construction, to scientists and even students graduating from FGCU--who right now have to look somewhere else for work in the energy field.

"It is not uncommon for a 40,000 square foot building to produce 1,500 direct jobs and have an annual economic impact of $100,000,000," said Galvano.

Construction is expected to start early next Spring.