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Osprey Clubhouse meets students needs on campus

Student life at the University of North Florida just keeps getting better.

Construction has started on the University’s new, $6 million, 15,000-square-foot, student-centered Osprey Clubhouse and pool facility.

Located on the southwest side of campus adjacent to Osprey Cove and Osprey Village just off UNF Drive, the complex will include a 3,000-square-foot, 4-foot-deep pool, a 6,000-square-foot pool deck, a fully operational grill restaurant, a game room and a laundry facility.

Bob Boyle, the director of Housing and Residence Life, said the new facility was designed with all UNF students in mind. The concept for the Clubhouse started to develop in the fall of 2011, a few years after the opening of the campus’ newest residence hall, Osprey Fountains. He said the Fountains residential complex, which boasts a fitness area, a pool with a lazy river and interior food vendors, provided residents with a truly inclusive environment, and University leadership wanted to offer a comparable level of amenities to all UNF students.

“We were thinking of the Clubhouse as a 24-hour destination for the entire campus — a multipurpose space in the core of campus,” Boyle said. “It’s open to everyone — not just residential students — and it offers a variety of top-notch amenities that will add to UNF’s vibrant campus life.”

The project should be completed by the end of spring 2014, said Zak Ovadia, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction. Ajax Building Corp. is the construction manager. The site plan consists of interconnected one-story buildings, as well as a modular classroom. Sloping metal roofs and a brick façade will contribute to an overall residential feel and help the new Clubhouse architecturally blend with other buildings in the core of campus, he said.

The new facility will also update a few key amenities for Village residents. A lighted mail center will replace the older residential postal area, and a new, top-of-the-line laundry facility will take the place of the older laundry building. The grill restaurant built into the space will serve a variety of made-to-order salads and burgers.

Boyle said the design of this all-in-one complex follows a shift in higher education construction toward communal, multi-purpose spaces aimed at a variety of student groups.

“It’s all about offering as many experiences and amenities to as many members of the campus community as we can,” he said.