A new facility for the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) opened officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Sun ’n Fun fly-in and expo across the street from the Florida Air Museum (FAM) at the Lakeland Linder Airport. The 58,000-square-foot building is capable of supporting up to 500 high school students and was made possible by a $7.5 million grant from the Naples-based Aviation Education Foundation.
“I hope this building serves as a launching pad for CFAA students to become more actively involved in aviation and, in doing so, build a pathway for successful careers and successful lives,” says Aviation Education Foundation founder James C. Ray.
CFAA is a high school career academy that was created by the Sun ’n Fun organization in partnership with the Polk County School Board (PCSB), Polk State College, University of South Florida Polytechnic, Gulf Coast Avionics and other education-minded organizations.
The annual Sun ’n Fun fly-in and expo is the primary source of funding for the ongoing operation of CFAA. Sun ’n Fun will lease the new facility to PCSB for 25 years, after which PCSB will take ownership of the building.
Sun ’n Fun’s John Burton says, “The opening of the aviation academy is the realization of a 37-year dream, and it is tangible evidence of Sun ’n Fun’s commitment to education.”