USF’s ultimate facelift

To improve and expand campuses, USF has embarked on construction projects for the year estimated to cost more than $137 million. This figure does not include campus projects planned for the near future that will cost an additional $117 million, and a project at the Lakeland/PCC campus that will cost more than $28 million alone.

In order to undertake these projects, the university first has to secure money that will ensure construction will be completed. Ron Hanke, acting director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, said some projects are paid with state-appropriated PECO funds, with other revenue coming from bonds, private donations and a capital interest trust fund.

If payments still need to be met, rental fees paid by resident students are used to ease the cost for construction of new halls and the renovation of existing ones, said Luz Arcila of Student Affairs. Parking and transportation fees fund parking improvements such as garages, and athletic fees are partly used to fund the athletic facilities currently under construction.

In addition to debt service, all of these fees also fund operations such as residence services, parking services and athletics to deliver specific services to students, Arcila said.

The budget for projects cover the construction and soft costs associated with developing the building. Soft costs include design fees, surveys, tests, furniture and equipment. Money is also budgeted to pay the contractor providing an estimate on costs.