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UT Expansion Continues

Published: February 01, 2006
The University of Tampa began site preparation in early February for a 448-bed residence and dining hall, temporarily designated as Residence Hall VI. When completed in the fall of 2007, the facility will provide additional capacity for the fast-growing residential campus.

UT's Board of Trustees approved a $45-million bond issue to support construction of the residence hall, along with a 700-space expansion of the West Parking Garage, bringing total capacity of the structure to 1,600 cars. It will be completed in the fall of 2006 at a cost of $5.8 million.

"These new projects are a continuation of the development of the campus master plan, which today supports in excess of 5,100 students," said President Ron Vaughn.

Cost of the seven-story residence is $38.7 million, but thanks to a $5-million donation from an anonymous donor, the amount to be financed from the bond issue is $33.7 million. The remainder of the bond issue will fund the necessary fees, permits, debt service reserves and other mandatory expenditures.

The new hall will sit northeast of the UT track and directly across from David A. Straz Jr. Hall, the most recently completed campus residence. It will reflect the latest in university campus amenities. The first floor will include a separate residence hall entrance, lobby, ATM and front desk.

It also will feature a variety of dining options, including Pandini's, Dairy Queen and Orange Julius, Sedona Grill, Salsa Rico, Jazzman's, the Club and the Garden Gourmet, Green Grocer and a convenience store.

Floors two through seven will be residential, and each room will be suite-style with a common living room, two double bedrooms, a bathroom/shower and twin lavatories. All rooms will be cable and network ready. The second floor also will include a large community room, laundry, vending and study area, as well as a hall director’s apartment.

"Our on-going demand for on-campus housing, coupled with construction industry pressures posed by hurricane repairs and shortages of materials, necessitate that we proceed immediately with construction," said Vaughn.

Unlike most other state schools and many privates, residential students far outnumber commuters at UT. About 65 percent of UT students live in campus housing.

The Beck Group construction firm has been named to build the 144,000-square-foot residence hall. Beck is familiar with the University campus, having built Straz, Vaughn and Brevard halls, and the Thomas Parking Garage.