Funding approved for athletic facility

The funds needed to construct a new athletic facility were approved Tuesday at the Board of Education meeting in Jacksonville.

USF will receive $13.2 million of the funds needed to finance the construction of the $15-million facility from the franchise fees of a beverage-pouring contract and student-paid athletic fees.

According to the project summary from the meeting, the franchise fee is $900,000, which was received for the execution of a 15-year pouring contract. Under that franchise agreement, USF will also collect $450,000 per year for 15 years.

The student-paid athletic fees, both hourly and flat, will also help fund the project. As stated in the project summary, the athletic fees collected in the 2001-2002 school year were $6.4 million. That amount is expected to increase to $7.1 million in the 2002-2003 school year. In 2004-2005, there may be a new fee of $1 for USF’s Tampa students, 34 cents for Sarasota students and 25 cents for Lakeland and St. Petersburg students to ensure all costs are covered.

Additional funds for the development of the facility include $1 million from private donations collected by The University of South Florida Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit organization certified by the Board of Trustees, and $970,000 from Capital Improvement Fee funds.

The site for the two-story building will be on the north side of the Sun Dome. The plan for the 103,000-square-foot facility will have locker rooms for men and women who play team sports, weight training areas, athletic department offices, athletic team offices, an academic support center, a sports medicine center and meeting rooms.

When the construction of the facility is complete, it will provide a single location for team sports activities and allow easy access for athletes to meet with coaches, trainers, tutors and staff members.