The J. Wayne Reitz Union has been the meeting place and first exposure to the campus for University of Florida students since 1967. It’s the iconic heart of campus, and on Sept. 21, Florida legislators, present and former student body presidents, UF trustees and dozens of other celebrated the groundbreaking for the new Reitz Union Expansion, which will replace the recently demolished Reitz Union Colonnade.
Construction is expected to begin on Oct. 23 and be completed in the fall of 2015. The project includes renovation of 50,000 square feet of the existing structure and the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot, multilevel structure. The $75 million project was funded through a combination of activity and service fees, an investment from UF, a $50 million bond and other sources without having to create any new student fees.
The new facility is being designed by Cannon Florida, Inc. and Walker Architects, and construction is being overseen by Skanska construction management company. Like all of UF’s new construction, the Reitz expansion will be built with sustainability in mind. This includes designing in day-lit spaces, purchasing energy-efficient equipment, using low-flow water fixtures, building using recycled material and seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.
The new space will include offices, student clubs areas, a new Student Government space, GatorWell Health Promotion Services, lounge and study space, dance rehearsal studios and a new Orange & Brew restaurant.