The USF Honors College will be getting a brand new building within the new housing complex, which is replacing the Andros Complex, and leaving its home in the John and Grace Allen building, according to Honors College Dean Charles Adams
The Honors LLC, which is currently in Juniper-Poplar Hall, will also be moving to the new Summit Hall, Adams said. The new building, which in its current plans will be four stories, will be right next to Summit Hall. The design was done by Levent Kara, assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Community Design.
“The design responds to the challenge of developing a non-traditional education environment by offering a wide range of possibilities for formal and non-formal social and educational interaction,” Kara said in a statement to The Oracle.
Both the new building and the moving of the LLC are in the planning stages. Adams said the floor plan is still rough and there is still much to be decided, such as the total cost.
The Honors College moved into the Allen building in 2011 and made renovations to the space including new carpeting, furniture and paint in 2015. The move came out of the limitations the building puts on the Honors College. The space is small and so are the classrooms, he said.
“It’s obviously a very historic building … but it was designed for a very different purpose,” Adams said.
The Allen building was the first building on campus and originally held the entire school. When the Honors College first started, Adams said, the class was much smaller. However, the college has since grown to over 2,000 students.
“We’ve outgrown it,” he said.
The new four-story building currently has plans for classrooms, a computer lab, study spaces, an area for 3-D printing, soundproofed music spaces, administrative offices, an auditorium and a coffee shop. Additionally, the current plan includes a common area plaza and green space.
The building will play into Florida architecture, Kara said in the statement, with features that take advantage of natural light and a roof terrace to offer students a view of the cityscape.
“It’s a big improvement,” he said. “It’s huge.”
The plans also make room for an amphitheater that could host productions or lectures. Spaces like this in the new building will add room for events with food service to be held within the college as well.
“(There are) lots of possibilities for that space,” Adams said.
Currently there is no timeline for the completion of the building. Planning began about a year ago, with the involvement of USF System President Judy Genshaft and Provost Ralph Wilcox, according to Adams.
The Honors College hopes to use the new building to attract more students to the college, while also giving current students more opportunities.
“This is going to put us on the map in terms of Honors Colleges,” he said. “It will be a transformative addition to Honors College culture.”