MIAMI -

Student at Florida International University's Chaplain School of Hospitality and Tourism Management are awaiting the benefits from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

The teaching facility for the school is currently under construction. It's Michael Hampton's pride and joy.

"We understand that this is actually one of the longest food production lines in all of South Florida," said Hampton, the dean of the Chaplain School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. "This is really the showplace."

The facility has a state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen, a dining room that seats 140 people, and a two-story wine room.

"They're still installing the chandeliers and everything in here," said Hampton. "My favorite part is the idea that students have an environment where they can now incubate new ideas."

The proceeds from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival benefit the school. The festival kicked off Thursday.

"The proceeds have allowed us to be able to make the school's vision a reality," said Hampton.

The festival, now in its 12th year, have provided FIU with more than $20 million.

"I am very, very excited," said Luciana Page, a FIU student. "I'm still pinching myself to see if it's real."

"That's really what we get excited about," added Hampton, "is seeing that students have the opportunities to be able to do things that they couldn't do otherwise."

Construction on the 6,500-square-foot teaching facility is expected to finish in April.

Click here for information on tickets that are still available at the SOBEWFF.