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Saturday, May 08, 2021

The university’s Board of Trustees met on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 to discuss the current state of UF. The thirteen members meet once every semester to decide policy.

The board, which acts as the university's governing body, approved new projects and proposals, as well as naming several construction projects. The majority of progress made is to reach a top five public university, according to U.S. News and World Report.

New Parking Garage finishes final stages

The new commuter parking lot, located on Gale Lemerand drive, will hold approximately 2,000 spots, UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said. The garage cost approximately $31.6 million, according to the trustee’s website. It has not been named yet.

This comes after decals increased by $18 in March for faculty and non-students to fund the project. The lot is set to be completed in February, Orlando said.

Construction projects begin

Several construction projects were renamed during the two-day meeting. UF’s new baseball field’s bullpen will be named after former Jason Beaird, former UF baseball player, Orlando said. 

The $65 million project is set to be completed in June 2020.

 

The new athletic training center will be named after James Heavner, current Board of Trustees member. You may have seen his name on Heavener Hall, hub for the Warrington College of Business. 

“He has supported our football program for many years,” Scott Stricklin, UF Athletic Director, said at the meeting. “He’s about as positive as any Gator can be.” 

Construction for the $85 million 140,000 square-foot football training complex is currently estimated to start in late in July of 2020, with a completion goal of December of 2021. 

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The O'Connell Center’s basketball board court will be renamed after Billy Donovan, former UF basketball coach, Orlando said. The formal naming ceremony will take place Feb. 15, during UF’s game against Vanderbilt.

Student-to-teacher ratios decreased

The university is at a projected rate of 18 students to 3 faculty at the end of the fall semester, Morteza Hosseini, board chairman, said at the meeting. He said that since U.S. News and World Reports rounds down, it will be reflected as a 18:1 ratio. UF Spokesperson Steve Orlando confirmed this number. 

UF’s student to faculty ratio was previously 21:1, Orlando said. A net increase of 415 faculty since Fall 2017 accounts for the lowering of the ratio. 

“The goal of this board is to make top five,” Mortessa Hosseini, board chairman, said at the meeting. “But to also maintain [our status].”

Contact Ana Escalante at aescalante@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @AEscalante22.  

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