Alachua County and UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County are hosting a Ground Breaking Ceremony on Thursday, October 15, 2020, at 11 a.m. The ceremony celebrates the building of the new UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Headquarters (22712 W. Newberry Rd, Newberry). The public is invited to attend. Face masks are required when social distancing is not possible.
Speakers at the event include Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell, City of Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe, former Alachua County Commissioner Lee Pinkoson, Congressman Ted Yoho, State Representative Chuck Clemons, UF/IFAS Vice President Dr. Scott Angle, and UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Director Dr. Cynthia B. Sanders.
Alachua County and UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County is a partnership between the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida IFAS. The mission of the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County is to provide scientifically based agricultural, human, and natural resource knowledge that citizens use in making informed decisions, which contribute to an improved quality of life in Alachua County. This building will be used to house six Extension faculty agents, three County staff, and one 4-H Program Assistant. In addition to faculty and staff, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County has approximately 100 4-H and 125 Master Gardener volunteers.
Alachua County is investing over $13 million in the project using a combination of Tourist Development Tax and General Fund dollars. The City of Newberry is investing $1.5 million and we received a $400,000 State of Florida Department of Agriculture grant.
The teaching kitchen in the auditorium will be used for cooking classes, 4-H classes, demonstrations, nutrition classes, and other programs. The auditorium will allow ample seating space for 300 to 400 citizens to attend Extension programs, Master Gardener trainings, 4-H educational events, and Youth Fair trainings. Furthermore, the auditorium can be divided into three meeting rooms, so that different programs can happen simultaneously.
In 2019, the Alachua County Extension Office offered 450 educational programs to the citizens of Alachua County, and 27,282 citizens participated in these events. In addition, over 328,000 educational contacts were reached through Extension programs.
For more information, contact Alachua County Assistant County Manager/Chief of Staff Gina Peebles at 352-538-8265 or firstname.lastname@example.org