Taking in the view from the second-floor balcony of the USC.

Join us for the launch of the University Student Center, a major milestone and student achievement

The University Student Center at USF St. Petersburg marks a major milestone in the evolution of the university and an example of what a determined group of students can accomplish.

The $21 million, 81,000 sq. ft. facility was partly financed with a special student fee passed by the Florida Legislature and supported by students who saw a need for a central gathering place at USFSP.  It took several years to accomplish and today’s students are reaping the benefits of that hard work.

The building, 200 Sixth Avenue South, opened Aug. 25 when 200 residential students moved into rooms in the six-story residential tower. Besides student housing, the building also includes a dining hall called The Reef that is open to the public serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. It offers the first full-service meal plans for USFSP, one of the top requests from parents, along with Red Mango frozen yogurt.

The center also includes an atrium lobby, wireless internet, laundry facilities, a student lounge, seating areas and two outdoor basketball courts.

The official launch of the USC will be Thursday Sept. 6 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be led by Student Body President Mark Lombardi-Nelson and include remarks by one of the student lobbyists who successfully lobbied lawmakers to increase student fees to help pay for the building. The primary sponsors of the legislation were state Sen. Dennis Jones and state Rep. Darryl Rouson.

There will also be a short ribbon cutting ceremony and a fun surprise at the end. Free refreshments and tours of the building will follow.

The 75-ft. building was designed by Rowe Architects of Tampa and built by Creative Contractors of Clearwater. Among its architectural features is a 65-ft., multi-colored glass-enclosed circular staircase for the residential tower, and an 8,000 sq. ft. curtain of glass along 6th Avenue South.

The project created about 850 direct and indirect jobs.

The residential tower brings the total number of residential students to nearly 650, a record number in the university’s history. Many of the rooms in the residential tower offer views of Tampa Bay and the downtown St. Petersburg skyline.

Banners outside University Student Center

At the USC, the banners are up, the basketball courts are done

Workers continue to complete the final details at the new University Student Center, which opens Aug. 25 when some 200 students move into the Residential Tower.

This week, colorful banners were hung outside the building and crews began work on a series of video screens in the lobby. Two outdoor basketball courts have been completed. And kitchen equipment is being installed and tested at The Reef, the dining hall on the first floor. Work on the landscaping also continued.

Please join us on Sept. 6 for the official launch of the USC, complete with a lively ribbon cutting and fun surprise at the end. See you there!

View a photo history of the University Student Center


Student Life Center staircase

Student Life Center renovation moving along

It seems quiet from the outside, but construction crews are hard at work converting the old Campus Activities Center into the new Student Life Center.

The project is on track for the first phase to open in time for the start of the fall semester Aug. 27, said Matt Jensen, the project superintendent for building contractor Mills Gilbane.

Designed by Harvard Jolly architects of St. Petersburg, the renovation will include the first student health clinic in USFSP history, along with space for student government, the Crow’s Nest and other student organizations.

The project will add approximately 9,000 square feet of space without changing the footprint of the building, which was accomplished by adding a second floor to the former gymnasium. The design includes an atrium as a gathering space natural light to the interior spaces.

USF Health will run the Wellness Center, which will offer psychological  and health services.

Harvard Jolly of St. Petersburg hired to design College of Business building

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has hired the St. Petersburg architecture firm Harvard Jolly to design a much-needed building for the College of Business.

Harvard Jolly, which designed the addition to the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, Sunken Gardens and the Albert Whitted Airport Terminal, will partner with Ikon 5 Architects of Princeton, N.J., the designer of numerous College of Business buildings including the Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University, the Collins Center/Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and the School of Business at College of Charleston.

“We are delighted to partner with a local firm of such distinction,’’ said USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Margaret Sullivan. “I look forward to seeing how their innovative ideas will benefit our students, faculty, staff and the business community.”

Harvard Jolly was selected in a competitive process from among 20 architecture firms from around the country. The university staff, including faculty members from the USFSP College of Business, constituted a committee that narrowed the submissions to five firms that made hour-long presentations regarding their proposals.

The USF System Board of Trustees has designated the USFSP College of Business building a top priority for the coming year. The $27.5 million project would be built on the site of Parking Lot 2 and include nearly 70,000 square feet of space, including technology-enhanced classrooms, faculty offices and public meeting space where the business community can engage with students.

The building would bring a level of synergy for the College of Business and a gathering place for the broader business community.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with USFSP to create a first class College of Business. The new facility will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for students and be a vital link to the business community,” said Bill Harvard, CEO of Harvard Jolly Architecture. “This facility will help USFSP integrate into the fabric of downtown St. Petersburg.’’

USF St. Petersburg is a separately accredited university within the USF System, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in Business, Education and Arts and Sciences. For more information, go to www.usfsp.edu.

Harvard Jolly Architecture is one of the largest architectural firms in Florida. Founded in 1938 by William B. Harvard, Sr., the firm has seven full-service offices located in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Ft. Lauderdale. Harvard Jolly offers services in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture for higher education, K-12, healthcare, civic and library clients. Additional information about Harvard Jolly can be found online at www.harvardjolly.com.