With all the new sporting facilities being built right now, a buzz about a new era in USF history has been brought up. So why not address that question, Is USF entering a new era?
When USF entered the Big East in 2005 all Bulls students, alumni, and fans thought a new era in USF history was beginning. I think it was a major step in that direction with new exciting competition, and major exposure nationwide. Yet, since joining the Big East we have been at best a sub-par team in the conference as Voodoo Five recently posted 10 out of our 15 sports are declared "bad." It has been a tough transition for the Bulls to say the least. It is however without question the athletic department was not prepared for the jump to a major conference with the facilities that were used prior to this year. Now coming into the new academic year this fall our sporting facilities will include Baseball, Softball, and Soccer stadiums, basketball and football practice facilities and not to mention a "brand new" Basketball Arena ready to go in December so long the state approves the plan on March 24th. With the soccer stadium, track now gets one of the best facilities devoted solely to track. Now these facilities will transform the athletic district and make it one of the best in the conference.
With that said about athletics, USF is still a university, so what attractions are there for students that have gone on since that major jump in 2005? Lets just say USF has been on a construction boom as of late. Starting this fall a number of new venues will be completed. To join in my mind the best Student Center in the state along with a beautiful MLK plaza and mall that stretches across the center of campus, USF will have a 92 million dollar science center completed. It is expected to be the hub for all science majors which if many of you don't know, it is the most popular major at the school. Schools of Music and Art just recently opened their new venues that are breathtaking. Juniper-Poplar may be old news but still is the biggest attraction among incoming freshman prospects. Renovations to the old but very busy student services and Cooper Hall will both be completed by this fall. Then maybe the newest attraction that is getting the most buzz right now, the expansion/complete renovation of the rec center and new nutrition/cafeteria. After sitting in on a recent meeting about the renovated/expanding rec center I was blown away. A new video is up on the rec center website that shows a walk through of the new renovation/expansion rec center with a few renderings if anyone is interested. A Student center, rec center, and great new dorms seem to be a great step in the right direction of showing USF's focus to make student experience a priority.
The final piece that could signify a new phase or era for USF is their plans with the water tower. The iconic water tower that has been one of the most popular landmarks on the campus is also getting a facelift. The new water tower look will give the tower a great pop and show off the true colors of USF even more. It just might be a new phase in USF's history. Maybe a new era maybe not, but what incoming freshman or alumni couldn't be excited about the coming academic year and beyond. Just amazing in my eyes. would love to hear feedback from what any of you think good or bad on this post. Just felt I needed to get these thoughts off my chest. Really think USF is transforming in a big way. Go Bulls!
Maybe the next step is our own football stadium as many think it is, or it's just how competitive our Athletics will be in conference and in the country in years to follow. Only time will tell, but for now I think it's no question that USF has made a major transition in the last few years.