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Bulls to stampede outside new Marshall Student Center

An enhanced plaza for the new Marshall Center, which proponents in Student Government Senate praise for the value it could add to the University, came one more step toward its realization at Tuesday’s Senate meeting.

The bill, which easily passed the Senate, awaits only the signatures of SG President Garin Flowers and USF President Judy Genshaft before SG can transfer nearly $1 million for the enhancement to the Marshall Center budget.

The money, according to Senate President Nathan Davison, comes from a reserve account, where surplus activities and services fees are deposited, worth around

$3 million. Davison said the account was tapped once before to stage a Ludacris concert.

The cost of bull statues that would adorn a fountain in the plaza provoked the most questions among senators. The life-size statues, to be made of fiberglass and concrete, are tentatively priced at $50,000 each.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Frank Malatesta, explained the cost is appropriate for hiring a professional artist to design the statues.

Joe Synovec, Director of Marshall Center Administration, explained the rigorous process an artist would follow for the proposed statues. One artist under consideration would spend nine months studying the anatomy and movements of real bulls before building a mold to cast the statues.

The new Marshall Center, whose total budget is around $65 million, should be completed in July 2008. But there will be a period of nearly six months before the enhanced plaza is built. This is because the old Marshall Center must be demolished to make room for the plaza, which can’t happen until the new Center is finished.

The resolution, on its second reading, passed with a majority vote of 29-2.

Dan Catlin can be reached at (813) 974-6299 or oraclecatlin@gmail.com.