Building Tampa’s Vision

Published on : 2/26/19
  • A positive physical environment is one of the most important factors in retention:

    Campus life takes some adjusting to and it’s essential for students to feel at home from day one. The University of Tampa (UT), a private institution in Florida, wanted to create a place for their students that they would want to come back to year after year.

    A positive physical environment is one of the most important considerations when it comes to retention and this is what Ronald Vaughn, president of UT, wanted to focus on. “The first thing is campus appearance and campus atmosphere. And if your campus looks really nice and is beautiful, then that is part of what people react positively toward as they’re considering whether to come to the university of not,” he said.

    We wanted to provide UT’s campus with a consistency of look, one that was always beautifully kept, and presented all the signals that this was a high-quality seat of learning that students wanted to be a part of.

    Constructing the new Innovation and Collaboration Building Project

    As part of our partnership with UT, we hosted an annual expectations meeting where we brought together our senior managers and key personnel from UT to discuss issues, offer new plans, address concerns and look ahead at challenges and next steps.

    The Sodexo Construction Services team saw where we could help with building design and was part of the collaborative solution of new campus facilities that included LEED certified residence halls and academic buildings.

    By working closely with UT, we started construction on the new Innovation and Collaboration Building Project, an eight-story project with an administration building, parking garage and the area’s first Starbucks café. This would also include UT’s high-tech, state-of-the-art Entrepreneurial Center.

    Since our partnership began, UT has grown unlike any period in its previous history

    Since our partnership began, UT has grown unlike any period in its previous history. Enrollments have nearly tripled, new enrollment records have been set and academic programs have expanded to more than 200 areas of study, including 13 graduate programs. Annual revenue increased from $28 million to $265 million for the 2016-2017 academic year.

    UT was also named as an Outstanding Green Business by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Gulf Coast Chapter. The university was noted for establishing “a practical and multifaceted approach to sustainable issues and concerns” and for its initiatives to “maintain healthy, environmentally friendly facilities; promote sustainable use of resources; increase awareness about conservation and sustainability; and lower facilities operating costs.”

    One of the key advantages of our broad expertise was the ability to involve key teams in construction projects from the very beginning. “The annual expectations meetings are frankly one of the best practices we see with Sodexo. Both UT and Sodexo regard this as one of the essential components of thus successful partnership,” said Vaughn. “Having that kind of direct dialogue, that’s a very important thing and it’s one of the things I really like about the Sodexo relationship.”

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