MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Construction on the first-ever residence hall on the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus hit a key moment in development this week.

Site and foundation work for the $42 million project started in February, and crews are now working to install the panels for the walls of the building.

Crews have installed the first of almost 600 precast concrete panels that will make up the walls of the six-story, 10,000-square-foot student center and residence hall set to open for the fall 2024 semester.

Crews are using a using a 190-foot-tall crane — about twice the planned height of the new building — to lift and carefully anchor the concrete panels into place. Installation of the panels will take about three months to complete.

“This is very exciting for all of us on the Sarasota-Manatee campus,” said campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook. “It is thrilling to watch the massive crane lift the walls into place, as the construction site is transformed into a building that we have wanted for so long.”

The student center on the first two floors will include a bathroom, dining facilities, a bookstore, lounges, meeting spaces and offices for USF World, student government and other organizations.

The student center will also feature large windows that will offer views of the campus, Sarasota Bay and Longboat Key.

The top four floors will include residences in various configurations, with a total capacity of 200 students.

“This is going to change things because all those students who said, ‘Boy, I wish I could have a full college experience, including a residential life,’ are going to have that, and are going to have that soon,” said former Sarasota-Manatee campus CEO Laurey Stryker. 


View a timelapse of crews making way for the new development below: