Florida to build new dorm for student-athletes as part of $2.2 billion campus renovation plan

By Adam Silverstein
June 26, 2019
Florida to build new dorm for student-athletes as part of $2.2 billion campus renovation plan
Football

Image Credit: @NaturalWorks_ / Twitter

As part of a $2.2 billion campus overhaul over the next 10 years, the University of Florida has plans to create a new dormitory for Florida Gators student-athletes in Gainesville, Florida, according to The Gainesville Sun. In an extensive story on the UF campus plans published on June 15, Daniel Smithson noted that plans to help the University Athletic Association go beyond approvals for new athletic facilities and training complexes.

The plan for an athletic and general student dorm — to be built across the street from Hume Hall — is earmarked for $60 million. Construction would be completed by the fall of 2023, presumably allowing student-athletes to move in prior to the start of the 2023-24 athletic season.

The previously announced $65 million standalone football facility is set to be under construction soon with a planned completion date of 2021. The 130,000 square-foot facility will be built up on what is currently McKethan Stadium, home of the Gators baseball team.

It will house the entire Florida football program with a locker room, meeting rooms, strength and conditioning area and training room to go along with the coaches’ offices. Original plans called for the complex to be located north of the Percy Beard Track, but instead, the UAA will leave the track as-is.

The new state-of-the-art baseball stadium is being built on Hull Road and will be completed before the start of the 2020 season at an estimated construction cost of $50 million. The new ballpark, which will be built before the football complex in order to create space for the facility near the stadium and practice fields, will be located near the softball and lacrosse stadiums on the southwest part of campus. It will be able to hold 10,000 fans. Home plate will be moved to face northeast, allowing the sun to set behind the stadium; this will make games cooler for both the student-athletes on the field and fans in the stands. The stadium itself will have “a 360-degree open concourse” under the shade with 5,000 permanent chairback seats (up from 2,408) and premium seating options. Needless to say, concession and amenity options will be modernized.

Currently under an $11 million renovation is Pressly Softball Stadium, which will be ready for the Florida softball team before next season. There will be a “360-degree open concourse, shade structures for fans and an elevated press box” along with an increase of 800 chairback seats (up to 2,280) and a new overall capacity of around 2,800. Amenities will be updated for both student-athletes and fans.

Phase 1 of the three-phase plan resulted in the construction of the indoor practice facility, renovation to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and expansion of the Otis Hawkins Academic Center at Farrior Hall.

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