Renovated buildings to provide new home for student resources, communication department


Recent renovations on campus have been hard to miss. Temporary chain-linked fences and caution tape have rerouted or completely closed off certain avenues through campus, and people wearing paint-speckled jeans and hard hats have claimed – if only for a short time – Buildings 2, 8, 14 and 15.

Some buildings are being completely gutted for interior redesign, while others see slighter renovations, said Zak Ovadia, director of facilities planning and construction.

UNF President John Delaney said all future buildings on campus will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified, but the renovated buildings may be excluded from his commitment because technically, they’re not new buildings, Ovadia said.

Though UNF uses green materials and procedures for the projects, Building 2 is the only building Ovadia plans to submit for LEED approval, he said.

Funding came from UNF Auxiliary Services, infrastructure funding and cortelis(?) grants, Ovadia said.

Building 15

(Where the computer lab is)

– Cost of renovation: $873,000

– Expected completion date: Spring 2010

– One or two computer labs being added

– Information Technology department no longer housed there, now in UNF Hall — but will keep a small space in Building 15 for servers

Building 8, first floor

(Where UNF Bookstore used to be)

– Cost of renovation: $1 million

– Expected completion date: Spring 2010

– An indoor sitting area, a Greek apparel store and one other undetermined retail space being added

– Auxiliary Services will move into this space as well.

– The English and history department on the second floor not being renovated

Building 2

(Where One Stop Student Services used to be)

– Cost of renovation: $7 million

– Expected completion date: March 2010

– Largest, most costly renovation, as the building’s insides are gutted

– The Academic Center for Excellence, Academic Testing, the Women’s Center, Career Services, the Counseling Center, the ombudsman’s office, Program for Parents, classrooms and the Gallery will move back into Building 2 once renovations are complete.

– One Stop Student Services’ move into UNF Hall has given much more space to all other offices being moved back in.

Three-story portion of Building 14

(Where Student Government, Center for Student Media, Women’s Center and Game Room used to be)

– Cost of renovation: $2.8 million

– Expected completion date: July 2010

– Second largest and second most-costly renovation, as the building’s insides are gutted

– Communication department to move there, gaining $453,000 in new equipment, three computer labs, an interactive news lab, a television studio, a public speaking lab, as well as faculty office space

– New space allows the communication department to apply for accreditation*

– The English Langauge program already moved into where the game room used to be

– UNF Housing Services will move into the building as well.

*Accreditation through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is entirely voluntary and only about 25 percent of programs eligible nationally seek it, according to the council’s Web site. The new building and equipment will make it easier for the communication department to be judged in compliance by the council. The accreditation process takes at least three years, and the communication department may make a request for accreditation by the 2010-2011 school year or earlier.

“We will have enough spaces for all of our faculty and the adjuncts that we hire to be in close proximity, so I’m looking forward to the physical layout improving the interaction among the faculty when they’re in their offices or passing through,” Chair of Communication Department David Goff said.

“When we purchased what used to be the AOL building, the intent was to move as many administration offices to [UNF Hall] so we [could] create administrative spaces in the core of campus,” Director of Facilities Planning Zak Ovadia said.

Sources: Chair of Communication Department David Goff
Director of Facilities Planning Zak Ovadia