Transformation in Progress

It’s construction season at USF

By Arvin Temkar Posted Mon, 05/20/2019 - 16:15

Hold on to your hard hat: More construction is coming to campus. This week USF broke ground on a slate of new projects, including converting deans’ offices into student space, building a new dining hall on Lone Mountain, and expanding the Sobrato Center.

“It’s a big summer for USF as we make way for bigger and better student facilities and upgrade our existing infrastructure,” says Mike London, associate vice president for facilities management. "There will be some noisy days due to increased construction work, but we’re doing our best to minimize the impact. Summer students and staff will still have access to all buildings, though some areas will be cordoned off."

Making room for students

Construction on the deans’ offices, dining hall, and Sobrato Center started May 20.

The deans’ offices on the ground floor of Harney Science Center are being reconfigured to make way for the Harney Innovation Hive. The space will contain materials and equipment for students to design, prototype, and build their own projects. Construction is expected to finish in time for the launch of USF’s new engineering program in fall 2020. Harney will remain open during the construction.

The Wolf & Kettle Cafe on Lone Mountain is getting a makeover too: It’s being expanded into a dining hall that will seat 300. The cafe is closed during construction, but a small convenience store with temporary seating will open this fall. The work is expected to last until 2020, and a walkway will be created to guide USFers through the construction zone.

And the Sobrato Center is getting a new main entrance. Construction will last about a year.

Meanwhile, the new student residence hall, which broke ground in fall 2018, is entering a new phase of construction. Trucks will be laying concrete over 11 scheduled days during the summer. Traffic-control crews will manage vehicle and pedestrian activity.

Putting the green in ‘green and gold’

In addition to building new spaces, USF is upgrading several facilities over the summer. Select thermal panels on the main campus will be replaced with energy-creating solar panels, and buildings including Koret Health and Recreation Center and Lone Mountain will be equipped with microturbines. The projects are part of the university’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.