University on track to build 700-bed dorm

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Florida A&M University signed a $97.5 million 30-year loan Tuesday to finance the construction of a new 700-bed  residence hall.

The funding is being provided via the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Program by the U.S. Department of Education.

In the fourth-floor conference room of Lee Hall, President Larry Robinson and Chief Financial Officer/Vice President for Finance and Administration Rebecca Brown and other senior officials participated in Tuesday’s teleconference call for the signing. 

In attendance were federal and state officials as well as representatives from the financial and legal firms involved in the fulfillment of the deal. 

The residence hall will raise the university’s on-campus housing capacity to more than 3,000 beds.

FAMU spokesman Andrew Skerritt issued an immediate press release on the event. It included information on the attendees, direct comments from President Robinson and Vice President Brown. 

“We see this additional housing as an investment in the success of our students, something we are here primarily to do,” Robinson said in the release.

Robinson acknowledged key players, such as Vice President Brown, Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson, Jr., and various partners who made the deal achievable.

The university’s partners are the U.S. Department of Education, the Florida Board of Governors, Regions Bank, Brentwood Capital Partners, the FAMU Board of Trustees, Florida Division of Bond Finance and Rice Capital Access Program, the entity chosen by the U.S. Department of Education to oversee the HBCU Capital Financing Program.

The construction of the residence hall is set to begin  in March, aiming for completion by July 2025 to accommodate occupancy from July to August 2025. 

Situated north of the newest dorm on campus, FAMU Towers, the new student residence hall will be positioned along Osceola Street.

Anthony Haynes, a fourth-year music industry major and member of the production club committee, believes the new residence hall will give freshmen an amazing first year experience at FAMU.

“FAMU is aware of the needs of its students and this loan approval facilitates the opportunity to provide the essential housing for first year students, and to avoid having a housing crisis again in the future. Creating this residents hall will give freshmen an optimal first year experience,” Haynes said. 

CFO Brown said that this project reflects considerable collaboration between the university and its federal and state partners.

“This is a huge step for Florida A&M University to increase its capacity to house and educate the best and brightest students in the nation,” Brown said in the release. “ I am extremely honored to have led the financial and administrative tasks associated with the HBCU Loan.”