Campus Life

UWF College of Business opens new patio

The first day of fall is bringing many things to the University of West Florida—slightly cooler temperatures, a much-needed breeze and the announcement that a new building for the College of Business will break ground in March 2011.

Ed Ranelli, dean of the College of Business (COB), welcomed students to a new, shaded deck as he announced that the lounging area was merely phase one of a much bigger project.

“The deck is just the beginning,” Ranelli said. “We’re going to have an entire iconic complex that will give students and faculty an opportunity to lounge and interact with one another.”

The new 36,000-square-foot plaza, planned for completion in August 2012, will include an outdoor seating area, café, state-of-the-art labs, a counseling center, a career services center and other learning facilities available to students.

“It will create an atmosphere where students can bond,” said Elaine Spiller, a student in the COB. “We’ll be able to continue discussions and interact with teachers, all of which will help us be more successful.”

The recently completed deck sits in the shade just outside one of the main COB buildings and will afford students a place to socialize when waiting for classes to begin.

“We’re trying to allow students an alternative to sitting in the halls, waiting for classes,” said Ranelli.

UWF President Judith Bense stated she was excited about the changes that are coming, and that it is a positive step for the COB, as well as the university as a whole.

“This is a wonderful start,” Bense said. “I can’t wait to break ground on the new facility.”

The university is Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) certified, along with only 8 percent of American universities.

“The university certainly enjoys a reputation in the community, as well as nationally,” said Ranelli. “This new facility will help reflect that excellence.”

As the free hot dogs and ice cream provided at the event were being quickly consumed by students before their next classes, Sarah Fugarino stated what she hoped the new deck and facility would contribute.

“It’ll help people cultivate relationships,” Fugarino said. “That’s what this new facility is about, and that’s really what business in general is about.”