New, Improved Rec Center and Student Dining Facility
By Lara Wade
TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2010) -- The University of South Florida Tampa campus is slated to begin construction on a "Campus Recreation Center Expansion" and the "Southeast Student Dining Facility" which are expected to be completed in July 2011. The projects are estimated to cost approximately $14 million and will include 51,050 square feet of space for exercise and fitness facilities as well as a dining/food court, meeting/classroom space, a student-athlete training table and a commercial grade kitchen with catering amenities to accommodate USF's vast community dining as well as concession and catering needs.
The Division of Student Affairs and Athletic Department are collaborating on this project. The money for the Recreation Center Expansion and the Southeast Student Dining Facility has been previously allocated through the Capital Improvement Trust Fund (CITF) and will be paid for entirely out of that fund.
Eric Hunter, director of USF Campus Recreation who is overseeing the projects said, “USF is aware that students are more likely to realize their full learning capability if they are healthy and well. USF is continuing its commitment to support the comprehensive nature of learning and developing the whole student.”
The expected results of constructing these new facilities are improved fitness, physical health, nutrition and psychological functioning resulting in enhanced persistence, greater academic achievement, greater readiness to learn, stronger student experiences and more engaged alumni.
The Recreation Center and Student Dining Facility are additions to the USF Campus Recreation Center and the USF Sun Dome Arena complex on the east side of the Tampa campus. They will serve as multi-purpose facilities for the general student population and provide space for the development of programs to encourage and reinforce behaviors that promote a higher quality of health and well-being.
“They are important steps toward increasing students’ capacity for healthy living and learning and will further enhance students’ likelihood for success,” said Hunter. “Our overarching goal is to enhance our students’ out-of-class experience and thereby maximize their full learning potential.”
The final conceptual design as well as location are close to being finalized.
The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.