Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF St. Pete student leaders lobby for fee hike for dorms, food court, health clinic

ST. PETERSBURG — For the third time, the student government body at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is asking state lawmakers to let the school raise fees to pay for an ambitious construction project.

Proceeds from the increase would be used to build a 35,000-square-foot multipurpose student center at Sixth Avenue S and Second Street. It would include a food court, conference rooms and dorms. The project will also expand the Student Activities Center to fit a health clinic and rooms for student organizations.

The project is estimated to cost $21.9 million, according to university officials.

"We had overwhelming support for the student center and health clinic," said Reuben Pressman, vice president of USF St. Petersburg's student government. "The actual reason students need this is because there is no central location for students to meet or hang out."

Pressman and other student officers asked lawmakers to consider a bill that would let USF St. Petersburg raise its student activities and service fees above a 5 percent cap starting in the 2010-11 school year.

Students would pay a $27 fee per credit hour instead of the current $13.25, officials said. The fee is included in tuition.

The fees would let the university issue bonds for the project, which may take 20 to 30 years to pay off, Pressman said.

"The problem with the state Legislature in every state is that they no longer give money for nonacademic buildings; they only pay for teaching and research facilities," said Kent Kelso, USF St. Petersburg's regional vice chancellor of student affairs.

A campus survey of 700 students conducted last fall indicated support for the project, Pressman said. The reasons are many:

• Campus population has grown. USF St. Petersburg serves about 6,000 students, up from 5,000 in the fall of 2006, according to university officials.

• Unlike the Tampa campus, there are no health clinics.

• The St. Petersburg campus has no food court. Students are limited to a pub and a fast food restaurant.

• The 351-bed dormitory can't keep up with the demand for rooms, Kelso said. Last semester, 130 students were placed on a waiting list. The proposed project would include a 196-bed residence hall, Kelso said.

Student government officers have lobbied hard for support.

"When they came to me with the idea, I thought it was a huge step up," said Rep. Darryl Rouson, who sponsored the House bill. "They are willing to pay out of their own pockets for something that will benefit all of the students."

State lawmakers passed similar proposals twice, but they were vetoed by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

This time, Pressman is hopeful. The legislation, making its way through the committee process, contains a provision that lets the school retire the fee increase after the project is completed.

Student Chris Brown said he wouldn't mind the fee increase. Juggling work, a family and school, he would like a centralized cafeteria.

"The financial issue for me is less than the time factor," he said. "The money has to come from somewhere, and if you expect a certain level of service, you have to be willing to pay for it."

Things looking up at USF St. Pete

Here is a look at construction projects at the ever-growing

waterfront campus.

Completed:

Science & Technology Building: Dedicated in January, the building is a 35,000-square-foot, two-story classroom and laboratory facility.

• Harborwalk: A series of landscaped walkways and a fountain form a central corridor and gathering spot on campus. It was dedicated last fall.

Upcoming:

• Sixth Avenue S Median Streetscape: University officials are adding new lights, crosswalks and a landscaped median on Sixth Avenue S, from First to Fourth streets.

FUTURE:

• The Dalí Museum Building: In 2011, USF will be the new owner of the building at 1000 Third St. S, to be converted to university use.

• College of Business: The university is planning to construct a home for the College of Business.

Source: USF St. Petersburg

USF St. Pete student leaders lobby for fee hike for dorms, food court, health clinic 03/27/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 4:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando teacher faces sexual battery charges

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Deputies arrested a teacher on charges of sexual battery Tuesday, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

  2. Drought forces tougher watering restrictions on Tampa Bay

    Water

    Homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will be limited to watering their lawns only once a week under new, tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

    A fallen pine tree burns and smolders in a section of pine flatwoods earlier this month in the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County. Drought conditions have helped spark wildfires across the state. Now homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will face tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. Sharing extreme views, neo-Nazis sometimes convert to radical Islam

    Crime

    It sounds like an unlikely leap of faith: a neo-Nazi converting to Islamic extremism.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam, according to a police report .
[Tampa Police]
  4. Target Corp. reaches $18.5 million settlement with 47 states over data breach

    Retail

    Target Corp. has agreed to pay Florida $928,963 out of a newly-announced $18.5 million settlement over a huge data breach that occurred in late 2013.

    Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve the states' probe into the discounter's massive pre-Christmas data breach in 2013. 
[Associated Press]
  5. Bomb experts say materials at Tampa Palms murder scene were meant to kill

    News

    TAMPA — Easily obtainable chemicals and equipment that investigators found at the scene of a double murder in Tampa Palms were assembled for one purpose, according to explosives experts: To create an improvised explosive device that could kill people and destroy property.

    Authorities search a vehicle late Sunday in Key Largo after arresting Brandon Russell of Tampa, who is not pictured. Russell faces federal explosives charges after Tampa police investigating a double homicide found bomb materials in his Tampa Palms apartment. [Photo courtesy of Kevin Wadlow, FlKeysNews.com]