Published: May 04, 2018
The University of Tampa’s Riverside Center, which was built in 1962 on the Hillsborough River and has supported various administrative and academic functions over the years, will undergo a major renovation this summer and fall. The renovation will allow for significantly increased space for Career Services, classrooms, conference rooms and for a transformed post office.
The current building, which is a mix of single-story, story-and-a-half and two-story spaces, will become two-story throughout, but will remain approximately the same footprint. The renovation will add nearly 20,000 square feet for a total of 54,000 square feet. The project is expected to begin in early May, and to be fully completed for the Spring 2019 semester. However, the post office, language lab and some administrative spaces are expected to be complete by the Fall 2018 semester.
Highlights of the renovation include:
- Career Services, which helps students transition from college to career, will have an additional 5,000 square feet to incorporate spaces for placement services, including interviewing, corporate recruiter meetings, receptions, employer programs and numerous student programs to aid career exploration and job search. An adjacent multipurpose room will open onto a patio that overlooks the Hillsborough River.
- Classrooms and conference spaces account for an additional 4,500 square feet. The new building will feature 10 classrooms and conference rooms, which include two state-of-the-art language labs. Many of the classrooms will feature views of the Hillsborough River and downtown Tampa.
- UT’s post office will be totally redesigned and modernized to account for current trends in student use, in which students do not receive significant amounts of first class mail, but do receive numerous packages via Amazon, USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc. In fact, last year post office staff handled 10,000 packages the first week of fall semester, and more than 100,000 during the academic year.
The new building will also include space for faculty offices to help keep pace with the rapid addition of new employee hires. The Office of Admissions’ presentation room will be expanded, as will Admissions’ logistics space for managing mailings to prospective students. Development and University Relations, Human Resources and Public Information and Publications will also benefit from redesign and expanded spaces.
“The new Riverside 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.”
The project architect is Andy Dohmen of Design Styles Architecture and the general contractor is Dave Tavlin of Crossroads Construction.
Construction of the building will be paid for through individual gifts and University funds.
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 renovation will also be enhanced by landscaping, new sidewalks and outdoor, riverfront seating.
When it opened in May 1963 the Riverside Center was known as the Student Center and included a bookstore, dining center, library and student lounges. It was built soon after the completion of the McKay and Smiley residence halls, when UT was attempting to build out a more complete campus, as well as manage its post-war enrollment increase. It was expanded in 1969, and the building last received a facelift in 2009.