Story by Emma Schindler
Over the past few years, the push of University of Florida officials to propel the school into top-five status has been mounting. A pleasant outcome of their efforts, however, potentially brings a major benefit to the Honors community. Amidst a $2.2-billion dollar facelift project to the university is the tentative plan for a $175 million residential Honors residence hall, according to Gainesville Sun author Daniel Smithson.
In the wake of this fresh news Dr. Mark Law, director of the Honors Program, is excited to see how this new building will enhance the communal aspects of the Honors Program. Hume Hall was intentionally designed with common spaces in mind to facilitate closeness between residents. The new residence hall will also be keen on shared spaces, making Honors “feel like a smaller school within a school,” says Dr. Law.
The lucky 1,400 residents who will populate the halls in the fall of 2023 can expect to choose from a variety of room types. This poses a stark contrast from the uniform suite style of Hume Hall. This feature will help the new space compete with the growing market for luxury apartments in Gainesville, and hopefully attract some upperclassmen to remain living in the Honors residence.
Between the common spaces, libraries, and top notch living accommodations, the University is determined to catch the eye of top students from across the nation. The hope is that, consequently, the quality of the incoming freshman class will continue to improve. Dr. Law notes that this is the prime factor taken into account by the US News and World Report when comprising their annual rankings of the nation’s public schools.
A final point of interest for the elusive space is that it will also contain all of the Honors offices that are currently located in the infirmary. Having in-house advising will create opportunities for a stronger partnership between faculty and Honors students.
If all of you Humies out there are wondering what will happen to the home of some of your best memories, you can rest assured knowing Hume will certainly not be destroyed. Rather, it will continue to serve as a place for late night cookie sessions, exam cramming, and ultimately a home for UF residents even after the new residence hall is opened.