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Students fill USF's newest living community on move-in day

On move-in day, USF opened a new on-campus housing complex, called The Village, where more than 870 students moved into two new residence halls.

It was move-in day at USF. 

The campus was filled with excitement as about 3,500 freshmen moved into their residence halls on Aug. 17 to begin their academic journey at USF. 

On move-in day, USF also opened its new on-campus housing complex, called The Village, where students had the unique opportunity to move in to the new state-of-the-art facilities.

Nicole Parks, a freshman, made an arrow with her zip code as a reminder of home.

Nicole Parks, a freshman who moved to USF from Pensacola, Florida, was excited to be one of the first students to live in the new and modern residence halls.

“I’m so happy I came to USF to complete my college degree,” Parks said. “I am even more excited to live in the newest residential hall on campus. This place looks beautiful. I am overwhelmed right now. It’s surreal.”

The two six-story facilities, named Beacon and Summit Halls, will primarily house first-year students and other undergraduates. More than 870 students moved into both residence halls on Aug. 17.

Students and parents flooded into the new resident halls at USF.

“We’re excited to welcome students and their families to the first phase of The Village, our new and beautiful housing complex,” said Ana Hernandez, assistant vice president for the USF Housing and Residential Education. “It gives me energy and excitement to see students and their families come through these halls and be impressed with what we’ve done. It’s just a thrill to be a part of this community.”

“This place looks beautiful,” said Abiola Awonusonu, who helped her daughter, Oluwaseun Awonusonu, move in to the new residence halls. “The new building looks fresh, and the laundry room was in perfect shape. As her mother, I am happy to see her transition into college life in these new buildings. I’m glad we picked USF. This is our new home now.”

Freshman, Oluwaseun Awonusonu, moved in with help from her family.

The residential facilities have endless amenities including study spaces, classrooms, kitchens, game rooms, community tables, TV lounges as well as active and quiet lounges in each floor.

Students wheeled in their belongings for the start of their new dorm life.

In addition to the two residence halls, USF also opened the Hub, the Village’s new dining facility. The Hub is a Green-Certified building that features nearly 500 indoor and outdoor seats, a coffee shop, and a registered dietitian onsite to provide free nutritional counseling for meal plan holders.

Parents and students enjoyed lunch at the Hub, a new dining facility located in The Village.

USF will also add a new wellness center to the residential complex, scheduled to open in Oct. 2017. The fitness center, called The Fit, is a state-of-the-art, 19,000-square-foot facility -- offering cardio and weight training equipment, an outdoor swimming pool and numerous other amenities.

“The concept of The Village is to help bring the USF community together including students, faculty and staff, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” Hernandez said.

The next phase of The Village will offer three more halls in fall 2018 – Horizon, Endeavor and Pinnacle Halls. These three facilities will add more than 1,100 beds, bringing the total number of students living in The Village to nearly 2,000 and increasing the student housing capacity at USF to approximately 6,500 beds.

The Village is a public-private partnership with Capstone-Harrison Street, LLC, and the largest student housing complex ever approved by the Florida Board of Governors.

Story by Vjollca Hysenlika, photos by Freddie J. Coleman and Sandra C. Roa, video by Vjollca and Sandra C. Roa, USF Communications and Marketing.

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