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press release
1/24/11 09:13AM

ROJO Provides Services to Renovate Tampa’s Franciscan Center

Teamwork in a down economy transforms a dated center into a contemporary gathering space with high ambitions.

There’s more going on at the Franciscan Center than meets the eye. For over 40 years, the riverfront campus has been hosting meetings, conferences and retreats centered around spiritual enrichment. The center has recently undergone several improvements, allowing the Franciscan Sisters to host hundreds of attendees as well as up to 60 overnight guests.

ROJO directed the renovation of the Center’s main conference space, replacing incandescent with energy efficient LED lighting, flooring, ceiling and preparation spaces. The facility is also able to be divided with acoustic curtains to create a more intimate / more public space. The project also allowed a main chapel to be allocated, with formal entry, indirect lighting and a new audio system. ROJO could not have accomplished this without a dedicated team of consultants and contractors including JA Burleigh Construction as the contractor, Lela Williams Design for the window and acoustic curtains, Interface Flooring for the quick-ship carpeting, Western Florida Lighting, West Coast Electric, and Donovan Audio Designs for the audio.

ROJO provided pro-bono design services as part of their commitment to the community. The company has completed over 75 religious projects in the last 12 years. Says principal Jonathan Moore, “We tell churches in regards to free work, you typically get what you pay for.  This project was unique in that it was fast, money was available and we had a very organized client. We’ve all had a tough year economically, but we knew that we could help the Center improve their facility and hopefully grow their ministry. The rewards are beyond financial.”

Center Director Sister Catherine Cahill describes the process,“We were working with a tight budget made up of donations and a small grant for the purpose of chapel renovation. ROJO’s gift of their expertise made our dollars go much further. They lined us up with capable and generous people who moved the project along. We are thrilled with the result. As the actual construction began I walked around the space and prayed for all those who had been part of the planning and all those who would work on the project. Now that it is completed, the prayers continue as I thank God for so many good and generous people.”

The Franciscan Center offers an environment of peace, simplicity and hospitality for all those seeking spiritual renewal. More information, including upcoming events can be found at

ROJO Architecture is a local planning, architecture and interiors firm. The firm produces about 50 projects per year including custom residential, multi-family, religious, medical, retail, hospitality and education. The award-winning design firm has designed such local projects as Boizao Steakhouse, 3405 Cityhomes, St. Andrews Episcopal Church Preservation and Children’s Chapel, HARC’s Center for Life Development, and Baycare Imaging Center on Van Dyke. ROJO  has recently been recognized as the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Business of the Year - Professional Services, AIA’s People’s Choice for Design Award, and the Hillsborough County Planning Commission’s Award of Excellence. They have been featured nationally in Metal Architecture and the publication 100 Florida Architects by Damir Sinovcic. More information can be found at

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