Floating Classroom Soon to Make Waves

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Photo Courtesy of Quinton White

Over the years, Jacksonville University has made some major improvements to its facilities and they are continuing to do so to make the campus a place where students want to be. The main feature this semester for marine science students is the new floating classroom that was recently purchased by the Marine Science department.

Dr. Quinton A. White, professor of biology and marine science and executive director of the Marine Science Research Institute, has been the brains behind this project since it was first thought of in 2007.

White did not say the exact cost of the floating classroom, but instead said they were given a very substantial discount.

“We feel very fortunate to be able to purchase the vessel,” White said. “It’s been a long time coming, but we always had the Board of Trustees’ support on this one.”

White said he believes it will be a big enhancement to student life in general. However, professors outside of marine science will have to get permission to use the classroom.

“The classroom will fit 28 people and two crew members,” White said. “There will also be a certified Coast Guard captain driving the boat at all times during classes to ensure safety.”

Although this vessel has taken six years to obtain, White said the classroom will be on the water as early as June.

“Right now the classroom furniture is being rearranged, the entire boat is being extended and engines are still being installed,” White said.

Besides waiting for all of this to be done, there is still a dock to be built to accommodate the classroom. White said there are still many improvements that need to be made to the MSRI and the department, but after his time working at JU, he’s learned a thing or two about patience.

“Patience and persistence pays off eventually,” White said. “Just don’t give up and keep pushing for what you want.”

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