Published: March 28, 2019
UT Reopens Rebuilt Riverside Center
The University of Tampa Riverside Center, which underwent a total rebuilding, is now fully open and operational and set to enhance student academic and co-curricular needs, especially in academic areas and career success.
The project resulted in the building being two-stories throughout, with unobstructed views of the Hillsborough River, the Riverwalk and downtown Tampa. The rebuilding added 20,000 square feet for a total of 54,000 square feet. The project architect was Design Styles Architecture, and the general contractor was Crossroads Construction. Highlights of the new facility include:
- Career Services, which helps students transition from college to career, incorporates spaces for placement services, including interviewing, corporate recruiter meetings, receptions, employer programs and numerous student programs to aid career exploration and job search. A glass entryway leads into a lobby equipped with a “genius bar” that allows for students to comfortably interact with career ambassadors and career assistants. Several rooms are equipped with Polycom technology to allow for web-based student-employer interviews, and an adjacent multipurpose room opens onto a patio that overlooks the Hillsborough River.
- Classrooms and conference spaces account for about 5,000 square feet of the additional square footage. The new building features 10 classrooms and conference rooms, which include two state-of-the-art language labs. All classrooms and conference rooms have the latest 4K display technology.
- The language lab now consists of two classrooms and spaces for language tutoring. The spaces were designed with collaboration in mind and incorporate a variety of resources, including language learning specific classroom management systems, mobile workstations and international broadcasts.
- UT’s post office “of the future” was totally redesigned and modernized to account for current and future trends in student use. Today, students do not receive significant amounts of first-class mail, but do receive numerous packages. The new Mail Services Center uses self-service lockers to pick up their packages, which students are notified about via email.
The building also includes faculty offices to help keep pace with the rapid addition of new employee hires.
The Office of Admissions’ presentation room was expanded, as was Admissions’ logistics space for managing communications with prospective students. Development and University Relations, Human Resources, and Public Information and Publications also benefit from redesigned and expanded spaces.
- The building also features 60 pieces of art by abstract artist Audrey Phillips. Phillips has spent most of her life in Florida and received her BFA from the University of Florida. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in numerous states, and her work is in numerous corporate and private collections.
The rebuilding is also enhanced by landscaping, new sidewalks and outdoor, riverfront seating on a large plaza facing the river. The centerpiece of the plaza is a 9-foot interlocking UT sculpture, made entirely of a superior marine-grade stainless steel. The sculpture, which is lit at night, was fabricated by Sarasota-based creator Scott Hamblin of The Resource Factory.
The new building has been renamed the Southard Family Building after an alumni couple, UT student parents and longtime UT supporters – Mike and Amy Southard.
“The new Southard Family Building will benefit the UT community in many ways,” said UT President Ronald Vaughn. “I believe students will especially benefit from the expansion of Career Services and the addition of classrooms and study spaces, and I think they will particularly enjoy a modernized, functional post office.”
This construction project comes at a time of tremendous momentum for The University of Tampa. UT continues with record enrollments, numerous campus construction projects completed and external recognitions of the University’s success are at an all-time high.