So what's been happening?
The new dorm construction is going pretty smoothly. A naming contest was circulated but I don't believe it has an official name yet. The structure is now 50-75% painted and the windows have been installed. Everything looks to be good for a Fall 2013 opening and even though I've seen nothing concrete yet, I'd expect the price point to be comparable to IVA. You can see a brochure for the new dorm, including the layout of the rooms, in this official FAU housing document. I continue to be disappointed with FAU for choosing number of students over quality of life; hopefully one day soon here RSA (Residential Student Association) stands up to the university and demands that future dorms incorporate both living rooms and kitchens.
A Student Union Planning committee has been meeting to discuss and plan out the upcoming $14.8m expansion of the existing Student Union. The project is slated to start in fiscal year 2013-2014 and has been called a "major expansion." Now, I've heard various rumors about what will happen, some of which I've posted here. The most recent rumor is that the Student Union will stretch out to the north and the existing paved courtyard will become a two-story building (including a second story for the Live Oak meetings rooms A-D). The outdoor lawn encircled by tall bushes that has hosted several concerts and the Freshmen Foam Party would then become the new courtyard. In the meantime, the committee has been mostly working on... picking out furniture for the new space. Don't be surprised if it's red or blue.
Heritage Park (the park, not the dorm) is likely to be officially renamed the John M. Freeman Heritage Park after the math/science emeritus professor of the same name who helped create it back in 1971. Dr. Freeman passed away on Feb. 19th, 2012, but the renaming proposal document goes on to talk about how he worked to bring a number of native Florida trees to the Boca campus.
A new ad-hoc sub-committee is being formed "to address issues relating to the University's athletics program." From the sounds of it, the committee brings more "administrative oversight" to issues like program support, compliance, marketing and sports sponsorship, communications and community involvement. I imagine you small government guys may feel a little uneasy about this. Meanwhile AD Pat Chun is due to report that "the Department of Athletics is in the final stages of its first strategic plan" and this will hopefully mean a revitalized push for new facilities (dare I say a capital campaign??)
"All well and good but what about naming rights?" I know, I know. Well apparently "FAU is also in the process of contracting with Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the company that runs the BB&T Center. They will help us identify prospects for naming for the FAU Stadium plus help promote and book concerts and events at the FAU Stadium." That's where we're at there. You may have noticed that the BankAtlantic in the Breezeway is now a BB&T Bank.
What else... the City of Boca has not made much mention of anything related to FAU. The University Park project has not broken ground. They have not (to my knowledge) had another meeting to implement the 20th Street/University Boulevard idea, even though the Mayor has identified it as an important project. Mainly the City has been embroiled in a debate with local citizens who are banding together to prevent the developer Archstone from building rental apartments downtown. Furthermore, they;re concerned about not only Archstone but about the University Village proposal that would be north of FAU. It's not a dorm or FAU-centric project per se but that is a suggestive name. Right now that's in the baby stages. I also have not seen any movement on The Grove, a new student housing project that would be near Windwood.
That's all for now. I have another entry coming up soon about a recent consultant report of FAU's impact on the community which will pop up as soon as I get another minute to finish it up. In the meantime, as always,
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