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In the News – Gainesville

In the News – Gainesville

By: Breanna Gallo 


Where Shopping will be a Pleasure 

The city of Newberry has recently announced that the largest Publix in Alachua County is on its way. This Publix is being built on 9.06 acres of land and will be over 50,000 square feet in size. While there is no set timeline for the project, estimates suggest the store will open about nine months after breaking ground. 

A development plan for a large shopping center plaza at this site was approved by Newberry’s Board of Adjustment. The addition of a Publix in Newberry further shows the growth and development of the city, as the popular supermarket chain completes an extensive vetting process before establishing its locations. 

Leveling Up for the Littles 

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital has recently been designated as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Care Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This new status means that the UF Children’s Hospital meets the ACS’s highest standards for resources, equipment and staff to handle any life-threatening injuries a child may have.  

The Children’s Hospital had already been classified as a Level 1 Trauma Center by the state of Florida. ASC verification, however, takes a deeper dive into the execution and quality improvement the center provides. 

A five-year, large-scale effort led by the UF College of Medicine department of surgery’s pediatric surgery division resulted in the crucial staff and protocols necessary for the ACS verification. UF Shands is one of four ACS-verified Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Centers in Florida and one of less than 20 in the nation to hold the classification. 


Fort Clarke Middle School recently opened a new calm room. This space is meant to help students work on self-regulating their emotions. It features a low-lit area with pillows, coloring books, origami, bubble lamps and other sensory activities. The space will be available throughout the school day for students who may need to take time to calm themselves when feeling distressed. 

This calm room was funded with a $5,000 matching grant from the Cook Center for Human Connection, a nonprofit based in Utah that is aimed at improving mental health and preventing suicide across the nation. Out of the 70 applications for calm room grants, Fort Clarke was only one of 20 awarded. 

Stepping into a New Space 

Fit2Run, a superstore for runners, is set to relocate to Celebration Pointe. Committed to serving runners in Florida on their fitness journeys, this store sells fitness-related items, including running footwear, apparel, accessories and bicycles. Fit2Run has a current location at the Oaks Mall, which has been open since 2011 and will stay open until January 2024. With a new site closer to the University of Florida, the store will be able to expand and reach a new demographic of college students.  

I got the (solar) POWER! 

The City of Newberry has recently announced that it will participate in the Florida Municipal Solar Project expansion. This is one of the largest municipal-backed solar projections in the nation. Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), 19 other Florida municipal electric utilities and Origis Energy will partner with Newberry on the project. This expansion is part of a two-phase plan to install more than 1.8 million solar panels on eight farms by the end of 2026. Once the project is completed, the solar power generated by the existing panels in Orange and Osceola Counties will be quadrupled. 

See Also

Gators Chomp to the Top 

The Wall Street Journal has ranked the University of Florida as the No. 1 public university nationwide. This ranking falls under the “2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.” The Wall Street Journal has partnered with Statista and College Pulse to conduct the research that justifies the rankings.  

When evaluating UF, the Wall Street Journal looked at the cost of attendance against salary performance, student outcomes, the learning environment and diversity. The most heavily weighted factor was student outcomes, comprised of graduation rates and post-graduation salaries. Between the Wall Street Journal ranking and the U.S. News & World Report ranking, which placed UF at No. 5 for the nation’s top public research universities, UF’s momentum for success is continuously growing. 





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