USF Sarasota-Manatee to add its first student housing by 2024

Down at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, they are officially planning to add student housing – for the first time ever.

Wednesday, the Florida Board of Governors unanimously approved the building of a housing and student center complex with plans to open in the fall of 2024. The dorms would house up to 200 students. It will be 100,000 square feet and located along Seagate Drive, west of the Crosley Campus Center. 

"The new housing and student center is crucial to supporting the growth of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus," USF President Rhea Law said in a statement. "This new project will allow the campus to strengthen the overall student experience as it continues expanding its academic program offerings in high-demand fields."

The bottom floor will hold the 32,000-square-foot student center, featuring a bookstore, dining, lounges, and meeting rooms. The upper floors, which total to 68,000 square feet, will include student dorms.

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In a recently updated study from last May, many students said living on campus would actually be more affordable than many off-campus options in the Sarasota-Manatee area.

Construction is expected to cost $39 million. USF committed to contributing $16.5 million, with the remaining funds coming from the bonds through the USF Financing Corp. Those bonds will be repaid with revenue from USF Housing, officials said.