Nearly 2,000 undergraduates in USF’s Honors College will have a newly revamped space to meet, learn and study because of the renovations made to the Honors lounge and classrooms over winter break.
The most noticeable changes that have been made include new carpet, new furniture and fresh paint to give the space an entirely new look, located on the second floor of the John and Grace Allen Building.
“This is a very historic building in terms of the university’s past,” Honors College Dean Charles Adams said. “The designers and I were really keen to preserve some sense of decorum and dignity for the building.”
The Honors College has been growing more and more each year. Adams wanted a new spin on the old look for future students and for visiting alumni to enjoy.
“The Honors College is growing, so we’re bursting at the seams for extra classroom space,” Adams said. “One of the first things I talked to the provost about when I got to USF was my interest in modernizing the facilities and updating them. I think it’s important that we need to do something to respect what we have here.”
The spaces renovated include the Honors College Lounge, computer lab and several classrooms used each day.
The last renovation made to the space came almost five years ago when the Honors College first moved into the building, but there haven’t been any significant changes since.
Students that use the space to study said they definitely noticed the need for an updated space. Adam Henderson, a junior computer engineering major, didn’t know about the renovation but was excited to see the change when he returned to campus for the first day of classes.
“I think it’s great,” Henderson said. “I really like all of the new changes and I can’t wait to start working here.”
Funding for the project came from the provost’s office, administrative services and a small stipend from the Honors College budget.
Adams was unable to provide a final amount to the cost of renovation by the print. Additionally, he shared that the future Honors College budget will not be impacted by the stipend set aside for the college’s new look.
Cayla Lanier, an Honors College academic adviser, discussed how much the college has changed since her time as a student.
“I went to orientation (in 1999) when we were in Cooper Hall — our original location,” Lanier said. “We had one classroom and two or three office spaces.”
After moving from building to building over the last 15 years, the college has found what seems to be its home for the foreseeable future in the heart of campus.
“We’re all about the students and helping them make the most of their time here and feel like they have a place to go to on campus,” Lanier said.
The new design was conceived by Elizabeth Clifford, project manager from USF Administrative Services who has added changes to the MSC and Library in the past few years.
“Your physical space is not something to be neglected,” Adams said. “It’s encouraging and inspiring to work in a beautiful place and I hope that the students feel these renovations have given them this place.”