January 26, 2012
The proposed residence hall will rise 11 stories and will include 523 beds for undergraduates.
In the midst of continued record-breaking enrollments, The University of Tampa has announced it will break ground immediately on its largest residence hall on a site that borders Kennedy Boulevard. The proposed residence hall will rise 11 stories and will include 523 beds for undergraduates. It is set to be completed in August 2013.
The as-yet-unnamed residence hall — temporarily designated as Residence Hall VII — will be located on the eastern side of the block bound by Kennedy Boulevard to the south, North A Street to the north, North Boulevard to the west and North Brevard Avenue to the east. Its main entrance will face North Brevard Avenue. Construction will begin immediately.
In addition to two residential suites, the 11th floor will include two large community rooms with sweeping views of Tampa Bay, primarily for student use.
The new, 193,000 square-foot hall will reflect the latest in university campus amenities. Each room will be suite-style with a common living room, four single bedrooms and two full bathrooms. All rooms will be cable and network ready. The residence hall also has several lounges and student gathering spaces, as well as a laundry room and common kitchen.
The proposed design indicates the building will blend with the architecture of the campus, with red brick, stucco and glass. An adjacent park and courtyard will complement the facility.
"Our strong demand for on-campus housing, coupled with our increasing enrollment, has led us to be proactive in providing additional, high quality on-campus housing for students,” said Ronald L. Vaughn, president of UT. “More and more students want to attend UT and live on our dynamic downtown campus. This new construction represents our continued effort to provide an exemplary academic and co-curricular experience for them.”
Construction of the residence hall, including furnishings, is estimated at $38 million.
About 65 percent of full-time UT students live in campus housing. For the past several years, UT students have been housed in area overflow hotels.
Residence Hall VII will represent the 25th new or substantially redesigned facility on UT’s campus in the past 15 years, and the seventh new residence hall in the same period. The campus’ physical growth comes as a result of significant enrollment expansion that has quadrupled over the last 17 years to 6,738 total students in 2011-12. The University has invested more than $280 million in new construction since 1997.
The parcel where Residence Hall VII will be built was purchased in 2009. For many years it was the site of the Valencia Garden restaurant.
The building roof includes a solar array that will supply hot water to the building. In alignment with UT’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the building will be designed and constructed to be a candidate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Beck Group construction firm has been named to build the residence hall.