By John Kiernan-Lewis
Your favorite on-campus study space, lunch venue, or outdoor relaxation spot may have a new look this fall due to a number of changes to UF’s campus this summer.
Marston Library and Newell Hall UF is planning major renovations to Marston Library and Newell Hall in order to increase study space for students who wish to study on campus. This will come as a welcome relief to the many students on campus who have not been able to find a seat at Library West during finals week or an outlet for their computer on the 4th floor of Marston. The renovations will convert the first floor of Marston into a designated study space which will be able to accommodate 680 students, and there is debate as to whether or not a Starbucks will be added. Renovations to Newell Hall will convert the building, one that the average UF student has probably never stepped in or even heard of, into a standalone study hall for students to use. Combined, these two renovations will increase on-campus seating by 40%, greatly easing the congestion in the libraries on campus. The renovations will be finished by next fall.
Plaza of the Americas Used for hammocking, eating, sleeping, and tabling, the plaza is a historic landmark of UF’s campus. The UF Foundation is organizing a renovation of the plaza, with the permission of the university, aiming to add benches and tables to the plaza, to create a space for the historic and increasingly expensive Krishna Lunch, and to improve pedestrian walkways. As many UF students and alumni know, the plaza is a huge tailgating spot during football season. The UF Foundation has kept that in mind, making sure the completed upgrades will not inhibit game day activities.
The Reitz Food Court Out with the old, and in with the new. While most of us on campus see the changes coming to the Reitz through the constant construction, it may not be as well known that changes are coming to the current Reitz food court. Burger King is being replaced with… drumroll, please… Wendy’s! So, a minor upgrade.
New Residence Hall Lastly, if you are unlucky enough to have class in the faraway region known as Norman Hall, you may have noticed construction on your daily walk. A new residence hall on campus at the northwest corner of the intersection of 13th Street and Museum Road is being constructed this semester. The new hall will cost the university $20.5 million dollars when it is finally completed. The university wants to have 24% of the student population living on campus by 2015, and this new four-to-five story hall will work toward this goal by housing 250 more students on-campus.