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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Construction begins today on a new learning center in the Austin Cary Memorial Forest.

UF’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation honored students, alumni and donors at a groundbreaking ceremony at the forest about six miles northeast of Gainesville. About 400 people attended the ceremony Saturday.

“It was a good opportunity to show off what the new building is gonna be like and the opportunities,” said Scott Sager, education coordinator in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

A fire destroyed the original building in July 2011. The community immediately supported rebuilding it, he said.

Sager said the building was designed to be about 50 percent larger than the original to accommodate the growth of the school and the need for educational resources. The building will have a 200-person capacity conference room, Internet access and a 30-person classroom.

Sarah Graves, a 26-year-old first-year graduate student in forest resources and conservation, said after the old building burned down, she would instruct students on the side of the road.

Sager said he looked forward to generating memories in the building.

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