News & Features » News

Water marks


"They have broken ground, so there's nothing more we can do about it," says the Sierra Club's Mary-Slater Linn regarding Seminole Community College's new Oviedo campus. Because 60 percent of the campus sits below the Econ River flood plain, the Sierra Club had been trying to block the construction. Concerns about storm-water run-off persist, even though the college brought in a herd of consultants to testify to the soundness of the plans. "I felt like I was at an Army meeting when I met with the board," says Linn. "They had every consultant in town there." But Linn wasn't convinced that the site won't flood. "There are ponds right next to the buildings," she exclaims. "I wouldn't even build my house next to a retention pond." How, then, can the college get away with the construction? "Because they carefully managed to find the one oasis `on the 180 acres` that's above the wetlands," says Linn.

Linn admits she likes the unobtrusive design of the campus, with buildings that feature large windows. And in searching for the silver lining, she says the fight against SCC gave the environmentalists a reason to learn the laws and regulations governing school-construction money. "We learned our lesson," says Linn. "We'll make sure that state funds are not used in the future to build on wetlands."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.