New USF St. Petersburg Residence Hall to Increase Students Living on Campus by Nearly 70 Percent
University Student Center is one of two residence halls currently at USFSP. The Florida Board of Governors recently approved a third residence hall, expected to open in July of 2020.
(Nov. 9, 2018) – USF St. Petersburg is moving forward with plans for a 375-bed residence hall that will give students more affordable housing options downtown while increasing the number of beds on campus by nearly 70 percent.
The Florida Board of Governors on Thursday voted to approve the $33 million project, which is scheduled to open in July 2020. Once complete, it will expand on-campus student housing from approximately 550 beds to more than 900. It will also support efforts to further improve student success.
“This is an important milestone in the continued upward trajectory of our university,” said Martin Tadlock, Regional Chancellor of USF St. Petersburg (USFSP). “It’s a very affirming decision from the Florida Board of Governors about the bright future of our campus, as well as the city of St. Petersburg.”
The project was made possible by leveraging the collective strengths of the USF System. Revenues derived from USF Tampa’s current student housing were used to provide bond capacity to fund the new USFSP residence hall.
“This project will be transformational for USF St. Petersburg and for the USF System,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “It also demonstrates the importance of collaboration across campuses for the benefit of students, which is the driving force behind the consolidation process. By working together, we are able to best meet the needs of all the communities we serve and drive continued economic development.”
The six-story residence hall will be located near the northwestern corner of campus on 6th Ave. S between 3rd and 4th Street S, across from the University Police Department and adjacent to the Rowdies practice field. The building will be approximately 125,000-square-feet and include a full-service dining hall, which the university currently does not have.
Nicholas Setteducato, Interim Regional Vice Chancellor of Administrative and Financial Services at USFSP, said the goal is to offer a dining hall at USF St. Petersburg that provides services similar to what our students at USF Tampa enjoy, including a variety of meal plans and menu choices, as well as longer service hours.
“This will provide our university not only with much-needed affordable housing, but also with affordable dining options,” said Setteducato. “The dining facility will be a great resource for all our students, faculty and staff as well as the surrounding community, drawing even more people to our beautiful campus.”
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 anticipated design will include a student lounge and study room on each floor, as well as community laundry space.
“This is more than just a building,” said Stephanie Goforth, chair of USFSP’s Campus Board and a member of the USF System Board of Trustees. “It’s the next step in the evolution of USFSP. It demonstrates our commitment to helping students connect with one another and the university.”
Dallas-based Beck Group is the architect for the project. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2019.
Demand for student housing at USFSP has continued to grow in recent years, said Regional Assistant Vice Chancellor Jacob Diaz. The new residence hall will not only help offset that demand, but will also allow the university to expand programming targeted toward residential students. Once the new hall is complete, on-campus housing capacity will increase to a projected 20 percent of overall student enrollment.
“I’m excited for what it’s going to do for campus life,” said Diaz. “It will help students become even more engaged with our university and our community, which will enhance their chances for overall success.”