Students are gradually learning about the soon-to-be-built 29,000-square-foot Publix Supermarket, which the Florida Board of Governors approved Thursday as part of the new student housing scheduled to go under construction: The Andros Village. Publix plans on the construction finishing late in 2017, and according to USF Media and Public Affairs Manager Adam Freeman, construction could start within a month.
Their lease is for 21 years with six potential five-term expansions, and the company will be charged $130,000 for rent, which will increase by 10 percent every five years.
In agreement with a statement from USF President Judy Genshaft, students have been overwhelmingly in approval of building the Publix.
“It’d be cool to have such a good store on campus. Something that can give a much better selection than just a small convenience store like the POD Markets,” Bob Camel, a freshman majoring in Mass Communications, said.
“While I really like to buy my stuff off campus — pretty much as a way to escape for a bit — it’d (be) a convenient new option for students who don’t have cars and can’t get off campus as easily to get a better selection of items they both need and desire.”
Currently, the closest Publix to campus is the Publix Super Market at Terrace Ridge Plaza, a 13-minute walk from USF Bull Run Drive and along Fowler Ave., according to Google maps. Madison Masterson, a freshman studying dance and business, said there is a benefit to having a grocery store on campus for students with disabilities.
“I have epilepsy and … can’t drive. So getting to a grocery store is very difficult for me. Having one on campus will be very convenient and make life a lot easier. I’m sure that it’s not going to be done before I graduate, but it’s a nice thought,” Masterson said.
They plan on hosting two job fairs per year on campus, with part-time employment and internships available for students. There’s no information yet concerning how many jobs this location will create.
“I think it will offer students a lot of opportunities for jobs, and I think it will also make it easier for students to have more variety in what they eat. They won’t be stuck eating at the dining hall all the time because there’ll be a grocery store,” Woodward Gramling, senior majoring in Chemistry, said.
“Publix is a really good place to work, it offers a lot of opportunities, and I’m sure a lot of USF students will be able to take advantage of that.”
Publix works to offer support for students with the Get Help With Your Education program which offers tuition reimbursement for student employees up to $3,200 per calendar year.
“It’s a great place to work. They take a lot of pride in their employees and they make sure they take care of us,” Theresa Janes, a freshman majoring in computer science, who also works at Publix said. “It has great benefits. They also want to push education so they offer tuition reimbursement and they are highly willing to work around students’ schedules, at least at my branch and from what I hear most stores do as well.”
“I’m excited because it gives us the opportunity to have more jobs on campus and it also gives us the opportunity to not have to leave campus to go get groceries or even different types of food if it’s something we don’t have already.”