JACKSONVILLE, FL: Leaders in the Jacksonville Catholic community and University of North Florida officials broke ground Tuesday afternoon on a faith-based off-campus student housing center, which is expected to open next fall.
The new center will be located on Alumni Way next to the current Catholic Student Center. The first stage of the planned complex will hold 204 students. The second phase is expected to hold another 158 students.
The rooms will have 69 apartment-style units, with one-bed-room, two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments, said Freddie Lynn Jr., regional vice president for architecture for Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood. The complex will have lounges, study retreats and space for a priest’s office.
The 75,000-square-foot center is open to all students at UNF, Jacksonville University and Florida State College at Jacksonville, but it’s expected that the center mostly house UNF students because of the proximity to campus, said Matthew Zerrusen, president of the Newman Student Housing Fund, which partnered with the Diocese of St. Augustine to privately pay for the center.
Zerrusen said his organization does not disclose how much projects costs.
The center is open to students of all faiths, and students do not have to be religious to live there.
UNF President John Delaney said themed student housing has become popular in the past few years, especially faith-based housing. He said it’s another resource the university offers to help students create a home during college.
“If you want to live your faith out on campus, you have the ability to do so,” he said.
The complex will be three stories.
Construction will begin mid-September, Zerrusen said.
For students who are interested in living in the center, he suggested they contact the Newman Student Housing Fund at 866-960-9758 during the fall semester.
The Newman Student Housing Fund also has faith-based housing at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
Meredith Rutland: (904) 359-4161