Residence Services is finalizing current projects, planning for new housing

As construction continues for Residence Services, new projects will soon be underway to add more housing to USF.

Tom Kane, director for Residence Services, said by the end of the semester, construction will begin to renovate Beta Hall and additional housing, but workers first need to meet the deadline for two new housing structures.

Kane said workers are behind on a near $22-million addition of Greek housing and Maple Hall. Together, the structures will allow about 500 more students to live on campus, thus increasing the on-campus resident population to about 3,500, Kane said.

Workers for the project are two weeks behind schedule, Kane said, but more employees will be brought in during the month to accelerate construction, so both buildings can open in August as planned.

Both structures will be located on Maple Drive.

Kane said poor weather in December caused construction to be delayed. Bringing in additional workers, however, will no increase the cost of the project. Greek housing, which will house 14 Greek organizations, will cost $14.5 million and Maple, which will have about 230 beds, will cost $7.5 million.

At the end of the semester, Kane said $8.5 million worth of renovations to Beta Hall will start, and the remaining building in the Village will be destroyed to add a park area next to Greek housing.

In addition, construction will begin for Maple Hall II, which will be located in the putting green area at the corner of East Holly and Maple drives. It will cost about $24 million and will house 602 students, Kane said.

On Jan. 21, Kane said three companies will submit design proposals for Maple Hall II and, in February, Residence Services will follow up with interviews to select a company.

In order to meet the demands for students who want to live on campus, Kane said USF will lease Fontana Hall in August for a year to house an addition 550 students.

Kane said USF will receive an invoice from College Park, the company that owns the hall, for the lease each month. Kane said the lease will be paid for by the students’ rent.

Parking near Mu Hall along Fletcher Avenue is also expected to be expanded to help accommodate the additional residents, Kane said. A parking lot located along Maple Drive next to the Village would be the only additional lot in the area if no additional lots are added.

Greg Sylvester, director for Parking and Transportation Services, did not return a phone call Wednesday.

By 2004, Kane said he expects about 4,400 students to live on campus, and the additional housing that will be added next year should prevent any overflow problems.

In August, there was an excess of about 230 students who were guaranteed housing by Residence Services. Some halls made study lounges into livable quarters for students while others were temporarily placed in Fontana Hall.

“This year, we should be able to house everyone,” Kane said. “I can’t imagine a situation we’re we would run out of bed space.”