Juniper-Poplar Hall Opens

First-time in college freshmen now required to live on campus


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2009) – The University of South Florida now requires all first-time in college (FTIC) students to live on campus and a brand new building is making it possible. This new policy was established to help students acclimate to the college environment, provide them with the tools they need to achieve, and most importantly, provide them with a meaningful, rewarding and successful educational experience. 


“Research has shown that students who get involved in campus life and engage in educationally purposeful activities succeed and graduate in a timely fashion, and at higher rates,” said Jennifer Meningall, vice president of Student Affairs. This new policy is also part of USF’s 2007-2012 initiatives to admit, transition and progress students to graduate within four years. 


The new residence, Juniper-Poplar Hall, will have an open house Friday, Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m. with tours of the facility being offered immediately following the  ribbon-cutting ceremony. Juniper-Poplar Hall is equipped with 1,050 beds and is set-up to create unique “learning communities.” Juniper-Poplar offers three state-of-the-art “smart” classrooms, an in-house dining hall that can accommodate 350, a convenience store, Around the Horn, a Starbucks and a barbeque-style restaurant, Smokehouse to Go.  


Juniper-Poplar is the largest residence hall on campus with seven floors. Approximately 900 FTIC students and 100 upper class students will reside in the facility. It is already at capacity and will be full as soon as it opens. The residence hall cost $65 million to build and took 15 months to complete. The project was built by Peter Brown Construction and Gould Evans was the architectural firm involved.        


“We are thrilled about the opening of Juniper-Poplar Hall and the integrative living and learning opportunities it will offer students,” said Meningall. “It has taken a tremendous amount of energy and teamwork to complete this important project and now we look forward to everyone joining us for Friday’s open house so we can showcase the building and explain its special significance, as well as USF’s ongoing efforts to enhance the holistic experience of our students.” 


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 224 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.