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University of North Florida Continues its Transformation

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With four major construction projects underway, UNF continues its expansion, outward and upward. President John Delaney's aim to make UNF a "destination" school means that its infrastructure must meet its ever growing demand. To that end, more than $173 million is being invested in new construction on campus over the next three years, in addition to funds recently spent to acquire the former AOL and Auchter Co. buildings. Alumni who haven't visited in a while will barely recognize the campus as the older, box-style buildings are being dwarfed by upscale, ultra-modern and eco-friendly facilities.

College of Education and Human Services, $27 million

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Workers broke ground in January on the new College of Education and Human Services Building, expected to open in spring 2009. The three-story, 98,000-square-foot facility will house classrooms, teaching labs, faculty offices, auditoriums, meeting space and student services. A main feature is the 6,000-square-foot, privately-funded Disability Resource Center allowing for in-depth instruction for students in critical areas like learning strategies, assistive technology, independence, self-determination, social skills, leadership, rights and responsibilities. An American Sign Language Lap is planned, as well as a series of specially-designed rooms will help future educators prepare to work with emerging classroom technology.

Student Union Building, $50 million

Photo © University of North Florida.
Construction of the new Student Union facility is expected to wrap by summer of 2009. The project “has the potential to have the greatest impact on the university’s student life than any other construction project,” UNF President John Delaney says. The 148,000-square-foot, two-building facility connected by a canopied, open-air plaza will serve as the campus hub. The east building will house administrative and Student Government functions and student services, a convenience store and game room. The west building will be home to the UNF Bookstore, a theatre, restaurant and fast-food court. Quizno’s, Salsarita’s, Coyote Jack’s Grill and Bamboo Asian are signed up and an exterior amphitheatre is planned.

Osprey Fountains Residence Hall, $86 million

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Students no doubt will be jockeying for a place in the new Osprey Fountains Residence Hall, being built on the eastern ridge of the campus near Kernan Boulevard. Renderings for the five-story, 365,000-square-foot building look much more like an upscale apartment complex than your garden variety student housing building. Opsrey Fountains will offer space for 1,000 students and feature single and double room suites with two bathrooms and high-speed data access in each bedroom. Perks include a swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness center, laundry facilities, a convenience store with a grill and several resident lounges.

Brooks College of Health Expansion, $10 million

Photo © University of North Florida.
The Brooks College of Health is undergoing a $10.15 million expansion that will add nearly 33,000 square feet to the four-story building, thanks in part to a financial gift from Brooks Health System. Slated for opening by fall 2008, the building will house a student medical clinic with 10 exam rooms, doctor offices and an X-ray/radiation laboratory. State-of-the-art skills and simulation labs are planned, as well as classrooms, faculty offices, conference rooms and a lecture hall. The facility will allow UNF’s School of Nursing to expand its baccalaureate program and its Dept. of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy to add a clinical lab and research facility. Added space also will support the Dept. of Public Health’s research.

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