A multi-million dollar expansion will begin in December for the University of South Florida’s Alumni Center. The project will cost $4,701,655 and will add 22,000 square feet when the expansion is completed in June 2003.
Director for the Alumni Center, Lisa Lewis, said she is very excited about the project.
“The crown jewel of the whole expansion will be the alumni ballroom with 3,100 square feet and it seats 200 people,” Lewis said.
Two new conference rooms will be built, and an existing clubroom will be renovated to seat 200. An alumni courtyard will be set around a large oak tree behind the center and will host large outdoor events.
Lewis said she hopes people will feel comfortable enough to venture between the center and the courtyard.
“It’s a wonderful venue for many different types of events that showcase the institution,” she said.
Lewis said the interior of the building will be redesigned to invoke a more traditional feel.
“The Special Collections section of the Library has agreed to lend the center historical items such as the shovel that was used in the original groundbreaking for USF,” she said.
Plans to expand the 4-year-old center have been in the works for two years. Lewis said growth at the university prompted the expansion.
“We are graduating 8,000 students a year,” Lewis said.
“The alumni body is growing, and we need to have more space to bring programs to campus and to bring alumni back to the institution.”
Lewis said the building will be used for alumni and community events.
“The expansion will allow us to bring all sorts of people and events on campus,” she said.
Lewis said the expansion has a huge potential to bring greater visibility to the institution.
Lewis said she wants the alumni to feel comfortable and connected when they come back to campus.
“We would like to see more students stop in because it’s their building for the rest of their lives,” she said. “When they come back with their kids, this is where they will come.”