USF Sarasota/Manatee to Get On-Campus Housing

A rendering shows the location of planned housing/student center building on USF's Sarasota-Manatee campus.
A rendering shows the location of planned housing/student center building on USF's Sarasota-Manatee campus.
Staff Report
MANATEE COUNTY — The Florida Board of Governors on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to build a housing and student center complex on the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, advancing the school's plans to expand the campus and "transform the college experience" for its students.

USF will soon break ground on a multi-story, 100,000-square-foot housing/student center along Seagate Drive, just west of the Crosley Campus Center. When the new complex opens in the fall of 2024, as many as 200 students will be able to live on campus for the first time.

School officials say they expect the housing/student center complex will enhance student success, including boosting student recruitment and retention efforts, while growing on-campus engagement.

"The new housing and student center is crucial to supporting the growth of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus," said USF President Rhea Law. "This new project will allow the campus to strengthen the overall student experience as it continues expanding its academic program offerings in high-demand fields."

The new building will have two parts. The student center, with 32,000 square feet on the ground floor, will feature a new bookstore and spaces for dining, lounges, and meeting rooms. Student housing, with 68,000 square feet on the upper floors, will be comprised of 70 double-occupancy bedrooms and 60 single-occupancy bedrooms in one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartment-style configurations, with shared bathrooms, living spaces, and kitchens or kitchenettes.

In a study that was updated last May, a USF consultant reported that for many students, living on campus would be more affordable than many off-campus options in the Sarasota-Manatee area, one of the more expensive rental markets of similar size in the country. This fall, more students than ever before are living on USF’s campuses in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Construction of the new building is expected to cost approximately $39 million. USF will contribute $16.5 million, with the remaining funding coming from the sale of up to $30 million in bonds through the USF Financing Corp. The bonds would be repaid with revenue from the USF Housing System, as well as $200,000 a year in activity and service fees collected on the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature funded, and Gov. Ron DeSantis approved an initial $3 million appropriation for a 75,000-square-foot Nursing/STEM building.

The new $62 million academic building, currently in the planning and design stages, would double the size of the campus’s nursing program; increase new majors in health disciplines and other programs, and fill the need on campus for teaching and clinical labs and research facilities. A planned capital campaign will generate part of the funding for the Nursing/STEM project. 
Reader Comments
SEP 16, 2022  •  It's pretty sad that campus housing is cheaper than off campus housing. However, it'll increase enrollment there, which is good for our economy.