New and Improved: What Students Need to Know About Fall Construction and Renovations


Alexandra Porter, Contributing Writer

FGCU takes pride in developing the campus to aid students in their endeavors. This means creating new structures as well as renovating what is already present. This Fall semester, students will get a first glimpse at some of the big changes on our campus grounds.

The new Lucas Hall building is now open and it is home to the Frank and Ellen Daveler & Sandra Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship. The location will offer students the latest technology and assistance to guide them in their studies. According to Dr. Sandra Kauanui, director of the entrepreneurship school, there are many rooms specifically designed to aid students. This includes a mentor room, a technology room and a media room just to name a few.

“I think it’s going to helps students with ideas they want to create and things they want to do,” Dr. Sandra Kauanui said. “They don’t have to be an entrepreneurship student to use it. Anybody can use it. And they can be alumni and they can come back and use it.”

There is another academic building being built from the ground up, with construction to complete on November 1st. The Water School, which will be located at Academic Building 9, will be adding more general classrooms onto campus such as for chemistry, anatomy, language, and literature. The construction boasts state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, and even an aquarium room on the first floor to hold marine and freshwater organisms.

“We are very excited about this new facility for The Water School,” Dr. Greg Tolley, director of The Water School, wrote. “It will bring our faculty and staff together in one building for the first time and will give students a place to congregate and get to learn more about each other.”

There is construction at the Recreation and Wellness Center for a new, outdoor recreational spot which will hold new lifting areas, high intensity interval training. Workout classes, such as yoga, are now provided outside as well. The center will have a stage set up as well as full lighting that is all integrated into the Recreation and Wellness Center. Construction aims to be completed mid-September.

“It’ll expand our opportunities to provide programming,” Amy Swingle, director of Campus Recreation, said. “But it will also expand the opportunities for students just to go out there and work out there on their own and do things on their own, which is going to be very nice.”

Many students are taking notice of the changes around campus. Bella Lopez, a returning sophomore, is excited to use the new facilities and is glad FGCU is paying attention to what students want.

“I feel like this campus is more tight knit,” Bella Lopez said. “It’s more listening to the students. I feel like it’s more community orientated because every other school is so big and can’t handle everything.”

Another renovation that is likely to effect students is the renovations of the Barnes and Noble Bookstore here at FGCU. The first phase of completed construction consisted of a whole cosmetic makeover of the bookstore, along with additions of a changing room as well as a photo opportunity spot.

The second phase, set to begin in September, will consist of the addition of a new register bank as well as demolishing the wall at the back of the store and textbooks moved back of house. This will eliminate textbook isles and implement a new shopping style for students coming into the store.

Larry Davis, the bookstore manager, said that the new way of shopping will be put in place for the Spring semester and will allow students to bring their schedule in and have their books picked out for them.

“It’ll be a whole new look for the store,” Davis said. “It’ll be a whole new way to shop, and a place where students can come and socialize more.”

Across campus, a few restaurants have seen major changes. SOVI Dining has added a new game room, and the Boardwalk has added patio additions and will soon add a new projector screen.

The Cohen Student Union building has also had renovations. Papa John’s has been removed, and in its space will be a new storefront for Brahma. There will also be a brand-new restaurant built in the old Brahma’s space called the 239 Burger Bar which will offer burgers, sliders, and even some vegan options.

“I have been there for twelve years, and we really haven’t had burgers as a star of the show except at SOVI dining,” Director of Operations for Campus Dining Tara Zinslen Scrivano said. “I think that is something we have been missing, and I really do think everybody is going to be excited over something completely different.”