BOG signs off on plan for new dorm

Rendering of new residence hall courtesy:

Two questions remain the same every year when arriving at Florida A&M University: When will FAMU get more housing, and when will FAMU get more parking?

While the second question is still in the air, the Florida Board of Governors may have helped the university solve the first one when it signed off on a new 700-bed residence hall for FAMU.

Meanwhile, students at FAMU are concerned about what has yet to be answered.

Political science major Alandra Martin expressed her concern.

“I feel as if the state may be overlooking us; we need more space for students to lay their heads,” Martin said. “There is not enough room anymore.”

Florida A&M has been experiencing a housing shortage in recent years. Ty’ya Benyard, a Howard senior, noted that FAMU isn’t the only HBCU with on-campus housing issues.

“I may not go to FAMU, but the housing crisis is an HBCU-wide thing. It is something most HBCU students, rival or not, can instantly relate to. It is like a conversation starter in most cases,” she said.

At FAMU, that conversation may be coming to an end.

At the BOG’s meeting last week at the University of Central Florida, and it approved a plan for FAMU to request up to $102.9 million from the federal Department of Education’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities capital financing program to build a new residence hall on campus.

With that money, FAMU is set to build a 700-bed student housing complex. The project, which is being funded by the state and the federal governments, will be located on campus just north of the FAMU Towers. The new housing complex is expected to be completed in 2025.

According to a FAMU news release, Kendall D. Jones, associate vice president of Facilities, Planning, Construction, and Safety, said the university is working with the federal Department of Education’s HBCU capital financing program through the financing application and approval process.

“The project team will continue working with the design professionals and the construction manager to complete the design and construction documents and finalize the guaranteed maximum price and construction schedule,” Jones said. “The university anticipates breaking ground no later than March 2024 and completing the 700-bed residential hall by the start of the 2025 fall semester.”

“It will serve underclassmen who are required or want to live on campus. The project is the first of several residence halls included in the university’s master plan that calls for up to 4,000 on-campus beds in the coming years,” he added.

While FAMU has been experiencing a housing shortage in recent years, the new complex will provide much-needed housing for students while improving campus life.