New residence hall at FEC
On the verge of its 50th anniversary in 2018, Flagler College is embarking on one of its largest construction projects with a $23 million residence hall, student commons and parking facility designed to meet one of the college’s goals of increasing the number of students living on campus.
The new project sits blocks west of the main campus on the site of the college-owned former FEC Railway headquarters on the San Sebastian River. Those historic buildings at the entrance to St. Augustine are also Flagler residence halls.
The new building will house 150 students and include a commons area for students with dining areas, study lounges, meeting rooms and other amenities for those residing in all of the residence halls.
The four-level parking garage will accommodate approximately 550 cars, helping to increase parking on the downtown campus.
“The College seeks to increase the number of students who reside on campus, but does not plan to increase the overall enrollment,” said Flagler College President Dr. William T. Abare Jr. “This project is designed to accommodate the increase in the number of students who want to live on campus rather than commute to class.”
“The architectural design of the proposed residence hall and parking garage reflects many of the design elements found in the FEC Railway buildings, which were constructed in the 1920s,” Abare said.
The FEC Railway property was acquired by Flagler in 2006 and converted into student residences soon after.
Flagler Board Chairman Frank Upchurch III said, “The Board of Trustees understood the importance of having a design that is compatible with the FEC Railway buildings, which are prominent, historically significant structures.”
Upchurch added that “the Board also wanted a design that would be an attractive entrance to the nation’s oldest city, and would accentuate the College’s commitment to historic preservation and the city’s architectural heritage.”
The project received approvals from the city of St. Augustine in late 2015, and construction on the parking garage is expected to begin this summer, with the residence hall to begin soon after. The parking facility will open in 2016 and the residence building is expected in fall 2017.
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