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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

O’Connell Center on schedule to be open for Fall graduation ceremonies

Fall graduates will celebrate their commencement in the newly-renovated Stephen C. O’Connell Center in December.

The center, which has been closed since March for renovations, will reopen by Dec. 16, said Lynda Reinhart, the O’Connell Center’s director. UF’s home basketball games will also return to the building starting Dec. 21.

Until January, the center will only open for events, she said, and people won’t be able to enter during the day. She said crews will be working on the $64.5 million renovation 24 hours a day for at least the next two weeks in order to complete finishing touches such as cleaning, carpeting and landscaping.

“For a project of this size, it has gone really well,” she said. “I look forward to people coming and seeing it.”

During construction, recent graduations were held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. This semester, students will be able to graduate in air conditioning.

Pooja Majmundar, a 21-year-old UF political science senior, said she is excited to be part of the first class to graduate in the updated center.

Since becoming a UF student, Majmundar said she has been to five graduations, all held in the stadium, so she’s looking forward to seeing the renovations and not worrying about the weather.

“I think it’s pretty special,” she said.

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