Opening of The Edge Begins A New Era for Student Social Engagement and Recreation

The inside and outside of The Edge will be a primary destination for student activities throughout the year.

The inside and outside of The Edge will be a primary destination for student activities throughout the year.

(Sept. 20, 2017) – USFSP’s newest waterfront destination for academic and leisure pursuits is open. Adjacent to the pool and within Coquina Hall, The Edge – named for its location on the edge of campus – seeks to be the destination for bringing students together throughout the year.

“There hasn’t been a space on our campus for students to meet new students on a continuous basis,” said Student Government President David Thompson. “Some of my best friends are those I met and bonded with during the Island Party that takes place at Coquina Pool and the old Coquina Club (now The Edge). But that event is held just once a year. We now have a venue where social events like that can take place regularly.”

The revamped indoor and outdoor space provides prospective and current students and the university with a variety of activities along Bayboro Harbor. A recreation room with TVs and games, a study room for classes and CPR training and a space for orientation and campus tours are just a few of the new features. The Edge’s location alongside the Compass First-Year Experience offices allows students to connect socially while exploring learning opportunities.

“The opening of The Edge solidifies our commitment in creating more welcoming spaces that will enhance the overall student experience at the university,” said Holly Kickliter, Regional Vice Chancellor of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications. “This partnership between Enrollment, Recreation and the student body addresses the needs of prospective students and their families who are touring the university, first-year students who are involved with Compass and continuing students who can simply enjoy this new area on the waterfront.”

The Edge was a two-year undertaking and a major upgrade from past iterations. These improvements include a revamped outdoor space with a large deck and plenty of outdoor seating, and a pergola directly on the harbor. Large, folding glass doors are featured on the opposite sides of The Edge, one opening up to Coquina pool and the other to the deck and harbor. The glass doors bring in abundant natural light and create a modern look and feel. Interestingly, they are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds.

“We upgraded our recreation facilities and are offering greater opportunities for students to pursue activities on our waterfront,” said Al Gentilini, Associate Director of Campus Recreation. “Recent studies have shown that for nearly 70 percent of students, recreation facilities and programs are a major influence on where they choose to go to college and where they stayed to continue their education.”

Designed with student input, The Edge is equipped with 100% LED lighting, recycled building materials, more efficient and less costly circulation of air and low-flow plumbing to minimize water usage. Especially unique is the large, distinctive wooden table within the recreation room, which comes from 800-1,000 year-old heart cypress trees that were cut down over a century ago and sank to the bottom of Suwannee River during the milling process.

The renovation of The Edge is the first of three projected upgrades to this area of the university. Renovations to Coquina Pool, the lawn area leading to the waterfront and the rest of Coquina Hall are expected in the near future, said Gentilini.

The Edge will be open from 6-11 p.m., seven days a week. However, daytime hours should be coming soon along with a new bike share program, said Thompson.