USF makes presence felt in state capital
University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft and about 250 students from the school filled the Florida Capitol Building on Tuesday hoping to make an impression on state lawmakers at a time the school has a big expansion plan the requires significant state funding still.
Genshaft said it is important to show off the “green and gold” in Tallahassee to help keep the school high on the legislative agenda.
More specifically, Genshaft said she’s making the early rounds with state lawmakers to update them on the school’s downtown initiative.
USF is building a new downtown Tampa medical education and research center. In June, the Legislature agreed to give the school $17 million for the project. The school is seeking another $22.5 million in the 2016 Legislative Session, which starts in January.
The preliminary plan is tobuild a nearly 320,000-square-foot structure on Channelside Drive that would give USF a downtown presence and generate $73 million annually in local economic activity, according to USF's pitch to lawmakers. If the funding comes through, USF officials have said they expect construction to begin in 2017 with a completion date in 2019.
Genshaft said she is inviting legislators to a site dedication event on Dec. 8.