USF St. Petersburg to Celebrate New Residence Hall and Dining Facility at Groundbreaking Ceremony
(April 18, 2019) – Tampa Bay area leaders will join faculty, staff and students for a ceremony to mark the groundbreaking of a new residence hall and dining facility at USF St. Petersburg (USFSP) on Thursday, April 25.
Among those who are expected to speak at the 12 noon ceremony are USF President Judy Genshaft; USFSP Regional Chancellor Martin Tadlock; and USF Board of Trustee member and USFSP Campus Board Chair Stephanie Goforth.
“This is a historic event for USF St. Petersburg,” said Tadlock. “This new residence hall and dining facility will not only provide much-needed affordable living and dining options for our students – it will foster a greater sense of community and help us with our efforts to continue improving student success.”
The Beck Group, the Dallas-based architect for the project, is providing more than 300 virtual reality goggles for ceremony attendees so they can take a virtual tour of the new facility using their smartphones.
“This is an exciting time for the University of South Florida and we’re honored to play a role in helping grow the community on the St. Petersburg campus,” said Joe Harrington, Principal Architect at The Beck Group.
The 375-bed residence hall will also house the campus’ first full-service dining facility, which accommodates 400. Construction is expected to be completed by July 2020, and will increase the number of students living on campus by nearly 70 percent.
The Beck Group is seeking LEED gold certification for the facility from the U.S. Green Building Council to align with USF St. Petersburg’s emphasis on sustainability. If certified, it would be the fourth USFSP building to earn gold certification, while the Warehouse Laboratory, which houses biology, chemistry and physics labs, received the highest certification of LEED platinum, the first building in the USF System to receive the recognition.
The rooms in the residence hall will be suite style in configuration, with about 60-75 percent being four-bed, two-bath single occupancy units. The remainder will be two-bed, one-bath double-occupancy units. Approximately 30-40 of the single occupancy units will be designated “flex” units, which are capable of converting to double-occupancy.
The design will include a student lounge and study room on each floor, as well as a community laundry space. The first floor will house a spacious communal kitchen as well as a large lounge with multiple areas to congregate, study and hang out.
Demand for student housing has been steadily increasing in recent years, said Jacob Diaz, Regional Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students at USFSP. The new residence hall will help offset that, and will give the university the opportunity to expand curriculum targeted to residential students.
“This facility will not only offer easy access to campus resources and activities, it will also provide our students with leadership and learning opportunities,” said Diaz. “I’m really excited for what it will mean for student life on campus.”