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UNF breaks ground on Honors Residence Hall

The University of North Florida broke ground on the new Honors Residence Hall on Friday, which is planned to open in fall 2025.

The residence hall was designed as a living-learning community for honors students, but according to a press release from UNF, all students can apply for housing in the new building next spring.

Located on Osprey Ridge Road next to Osprey Fountains, the residence hall will be four stories and 164,579 square feet. According to UNF, there will be around 520 bed spaces, bringing the total number available on campus to 4,300.

Rendering of the future Honors Residence Hall (Photo courtesy of UNF)

This is UNF’s first on-campus housing expansion in almost a decade since the Flats were purchased in 2014. The university has not built brand-new housing since Osprey Fountains opened in 2009.

UNF’s new five-year strategic plan, which outlines a goal to increase total enrollment from approximately 17,000 to 25,000 students, was approved by the Board of Governors last September.

Members of the UNF community have expressed concern over how these thousands of new students will share the current amount of housing, parking and other resources. UNF President Moez Limayem has recognized this challenge as something the university is working to overcome.

Limayem was present at the groundbreaking event Friday, as well as Hicks Honors College Dean Jeff Chamberlain and other members of the local community.

“This new residence hall demonstrates our commitment to strategic growth as we continue to create environments that support student success at UNF,” said Limayem.

The residence hall will include study spaces, lounge areas and a kitchenette on each floor. The main floor will also have larger lounge areas, a kitchen, offices, mail services, a laundry room, two Resident Advisor apartments and an outdoor food vendor.

Outside, there will be basketball courts, sand volleyball courts and a boardwalk to connect the residence hall to the center of campus, similar to Osprey Fountains.

Robert Boyle, senior director of UNF Housing and Residence Life, said Osprey Fountains will share its existing parking lot with the Honors Residence Hall.

The project is expected to cost $76.9 million, according to the project summary presented to the Board of Governors when it was approved.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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Jeanne Gilbert, Editor in Chief
Jeanne Gilbert is Spinnaker's current editor-in-chief and a sophomore majoring in public relations at the University of North Florida. She joined Spinnaker in the summer of 2023 as a volunteer. After graduating, Jeanne plans to continue in the newsroom or work in public relations.

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