Suncoast shining a youthful light on CFs Citrus campus

Suncoast Parkway extended into Lecanto


Isaiah Delgado, Staff Writer

It has been said that “If you build it, they will come,” and Citrus County hopes that statement holds true regarding the Suncoast Parkway being extended into Lecanto and the potential influx of youth it could bring. 

“The Suncoast Parkway will extend the existing Suncoast Parkway northward from US 98 to SR 44 in Lecanto,” according to Florida’s Turnpike. 

Currently, the average age of a Citrus County resident is over 56-years- old according to Census data. That’s more than three decades older than the age of the average college student.

With that in mind, the Suncoast Parkway offers the potential for an increase of college students to flock onto CF’s Citrus Campus which is based in Lecanto. 

CF’s Vice President of Regional Campuses, Vernon Lawter is highly optimistic regarding the future of CF.

“The hope is that the completion of the Suncoast Parkway in Citrus County will ultimately lead to population growth, which would result in enrollment at the CF Citrus Campus,” said Lawter. 

Young college students in bigger cities should consider CF over other Universities for several reasons.

The U.S. Department of Education ranked CF amongst the top 1 percent of four-year colleges in the nation for affordability

The average annual cost for an in-state student attending CF and living independently is $15,982 significantly less than that of USF who’s cost averages out at $21,672 according to each school’s respective website. 

The Suncoast Parkway’s extension into Citrus County will make attending CF’s Citrus Campus in Lecanto more convenient for students venturing from some of Florida’s bigger cities.

An additional advantage that attending CF has over larger competition is that it is easier for students to communicate with their professors since the classrooms are less crowded than those at major Universities.

Currently, Citrus County’s population ranks 33rd out of Florida’s 67 counties. Their 153,843 residents are a far cry from that of Tampa’s Hillsborough County, which ranks 4th in the state with 1,459,191 according to Florida Demographics.

Crista Cappuccilli, current student at the CF Citrus Campus, appreciates CFs more intimate learning environment. 

“Professors are able to individually focus on the students they have, in contrast to if we were to attend a big university that can host 100 students in a single course,” said Cappuccilli. 

Why struggle through a lecture with hundreds of students while trying to adjust to college curriculum when you could attend CF.

The Public Information Officer and communications manager of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, Veronica Kampschroer had a few things to say about the extension. 

“The Parkway extension will act as an economic driver for the area, leading to job creation and opportunities for families and young people looking to begin their careers,” said Kampschroer.

As completion of the Suncoast Parkway extension draws near, we can only hope that things will be as  Dr. Lawter said, “In the long term, the Suncoast Parkway extension will be good for Citrus County and the college.” 


Perhaps this small college campus will be moving onto bigger things in the near future.


For more information, you can contact Crista Cappuccilli at [email protected], Vernon Lawter at [email protected], and Veronica Kampschroer at [email protected]

Photo Courtesy: Suncoast_Parkway2.pdf (