UF President Bernie Machen was among the first to don a hard hat and pick up a shovel Friday for the groundbreaking ceremony of Cypress Hall.
UF’s 25th residence hall will stand near the northwest corner of SW 13th Street and Museum Road.
Norb Dunkel, associate vice president for student affairs, said in recent years about 500 to 1,000 students have been turned away from living on campus due to residential shortages.
Cypress Hall will add 255 bed spaces to UF’s housing, he said. Thirty-five of those bed spaces will be on the first floor for students with disabilities.
“We want more disabled students to come to our university, and we want them to live on campus,” Machen said. “When Cypress Hall is complete, UF will join only a handful of universities nationwide that offer such custom-built rooms for the physically disabled.”
Elliot Grasso, student president of Inter-Residence Hall Association, spoke about the impact Cypress Hall will have on students. Grasso, a 21-year-old UF finance and information systems junior, said dorms can be an integral part of college.
“Living on campus provides students with an experience unlike any other,” he said.
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 2/17/2014 under the headline "UF breaks ground for new dorm"]