University of South Florida completes new research park

By Eric Althoff

TAMPA, Fla.—Sweden-based international construction and development company Skanska has partnered with renowned architectural firm Gensler on the expansion of the University of South Florida Research Park, a laboratory for use mixed and an office building.

The three-story, $27 million development includes 120,000 square feet of office and laboratory space in the USF Life Sciences Building. The interior now offers areas for collaborative learning and experimentation, offices, as well as a common dining room on the ground floor and a roof terrace three stories above.

The USF Research Park is intended to shape an environment in which innovation in an academic setting will go hand in hand with economic growth in the greater Tampa Bay area. As designed by Gensler, the research park will act as a welcoming space where scientists and project designers can collaborate in a state-of-the-art facility designed to stimulate experimentation and discovery.

Thanks to this renovation, the capacity of the research park has increased by approximately 30%. Among other disciplines, the research park will focus on both technology and life sciences throughout the South Florida region.

“Given our history of working with the University of South Florida, our team is proud to provide another state-of-the-art facility that will allow the university to continue to make meaningful investments in advancing the life sciences. and biotechnology,” Michael C. Brown, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA’s Florida construction operations, said of the expansion. “The completion of USF’s mixed-use laboratory and office project is timely as Tampa continues to experience significant growth in business and population. The research park is an important engine for stimulating long-term innovation and economic growth in the region.

In a later statement to School Construction News, Brown added that demand for space for experimentation and study of life sciences was at an all-time high in the academic sector.

“Building on an active campus site comes with its own set of challenges that require a lot of communication between key partners,” Brown said of the difficulties of completing the project in a timely manner. “Not to mention the current supply chain shortages, so it was crucial to deliver this project on time given the current market needs and the University’s schedule. Additionally, to stay competitive as technology evolves, the project was also built with flexibility and durability in mind.

In addition to the research park, Skanska’s previous work at USF involves the Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in downtown Tampa, completed in early 2020. The company continues to work in the healthcare sector. education throughout the Sunshine State, including the University of Miami’s Frost Institute of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences. The company has been in business for nearly 140 years and is one of the largest development and construction companies in the world.

Their US headquarters are in New York, with 30 offices across America. The company employs more than 7,300 people and had revenue of $6.4 billion in 2021.

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