UWF’s student efforts enhancing Milton’s community
Standing before a council composed of city officials including Milton mayor, Guy Thompson, University of West Florida students from the "Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Planning and Design" course presented feasibility studies Dec. 11, which included plans for and against the implementation of an Olympic-sized pool for the Milton Community Center.
Standing before a council composed of city officials including Milton mayor, Guy Thompson, University of West Florida students from the “Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Planning and Design” course presented feasibility studies Dec. 11, which included plans for and against the implementation of an Olympic-sized pool for the Milton Community Center.
“I was impressed with their studies and you can tell through their presentations that they’ve put a considerable amount of work into this,” said Thompson. “It gives us a good foundation to launch our bid for a pool. ”
The students, under the leadership of Xuan Van Tran, assistant professor in Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Management, spent several months researching and creating feasibility studies for the Milton Community Center. Students spent time exploring the city’s demographics and finding out the interest of local community members. From finding out how many people have pools, to asking if members would be interested in local programs associated with a community pool, UWF students also explored the financial aspects, zoning requirements and details that would go into such an undertaking.
“This experience will really help me in future endeavors,” said Katherine Underwood, UWF student. “If the situation arises, I can use this experience to step up and take the lead since I now know how to create a feasibility study for a detailed project like this.”
Gary Pruitt, a local businessman, helped connect people from the university with Milton city officials to begin researching whether or not a pool would help enhance the existing facility in Milton. In October, students toured the community center with council members prior to beginning their research to get an idea for what the council was looking to do.
“It’s nice when you can walk into a room of city officials, local business members, commissioners and county politicians, as well as university students, faculty and administrators and we can sit down together and all be on the same page in support of each other,” said John Todorovich, chair of the UWF Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science. “It is a unique model for how communities and universities can work together.”
The project helped the city save money that would have been spent hiring a company to do the initial research and gave UWF students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience.
“It is important for students to understand their abilities to contribute to local communities,” said Tran. “This project will show the students their strengths and put them to the ultimate test. Once the students graduate, they will be able to recognize their talents and abilities to become successful in life.”
For more information, contact Todorovich (850) 473-7248 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about UWF’s Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Management Program at uwf.edu/hrrm/home.htm.
Written by Megan Clark, University Marketing Communications