USF Sarasota-Manatee campus construction project reaches major milestone

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Workers reached a milestone in the construction of a residence hall on the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, completing installation of about 600 precast concrete panels that will make up the walls of the six-story, 100,000-square-foot building. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2024 semester.

Site and foundation work for the $42 million project started in February.

“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.”

Crews are 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. The crane, which was assembled on site, is partially lowered each evening so as to not interfere with operations at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport across U.S. 41 from the campus.

“This week’s construction activities mark a significant milestone in this project, bringing it closer to its physical form and emphasizing the tremendous effort and collaboration put in by numerous individuals to reach this stage,” said Jason Mitchell, vice president of client services for CORE Construction, the general contractor on the project. “Students will undoubtedly be astonished when they return to school later this summer, witnessing a remarkable transformation from a bare site at conclusion of last semester to a magnificent six-story structure taking shape before their eyes.”

Project details:

  • Walls for the building, which is rising along Seagate Drive on the south side of the campus courtyard, will consist of 589 precast pieces, totaling 3,466 cubic yards and the heaviest piece will weigh 55,300 pounds.
  • It will take 460 trips to deliver all of the pieces from a concrete plant in Bartow where the panels are being assembled.
  • Architectural features in the student center will include large windows that will offer views of the campus, Sarasota Bay and Longboat Key.

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