Anticipating enrollment growth, Florida Tech set its sights on a sweeping campus expansion.
The biggest priority was student housing, but that was only the beginning. Florida Tech also needed new research and classroom space, a new dining hall, an NCAA aquatic center, and additional parking.
Two major hurdles stood between Florida Tech and these aspirations:
- Quality and Control: The university needed a path to capital and the ability to control core campus assets.
- Financial Restructuring: The structure of existing debt prohibited Florida Tech from incurring new debt or entering into a long-term lease.
There was also a sense of urgency. Florida Tech needed the new housing facility before the following fall semester – a date just 16 months away.
To surmount those challenges, Florida Tech called on TUFF.
By moving quickly to restructure Florida Tech’s debt, TUFF created a path to capital for the campus expansion effort. Then, drawing on its 501(c)(3) mission to advance education, TUFF developed an action plan for Florida Tech.
Under the TUFF plan, the university could enter a new lease agreement and begin its campus expansion on the very day its debt was restructured. Florida Tech would also benefit from TUFF’s below market lease terms.
With Florida Tech in a position to pursue its vision, construction began.
But the year was 2008, and global markets collapsed just as Florida Tech broke ground. Funding sources disappeared.
Unable to secure permanent financing due to the crisis, TUFF responded by investing $28 million of its own money. This capital infusion enabled – in spite of all odds – the on-time delivery of Florida Tech’s student housing facility.
All told, TUFF invested $58 million over four years in the multi-phase expansion effort. Florida Tech received all of the facilities it needed, on-time and within budget.
Without TUFF, Florida Tech would not have achieved these aspirations.
Today, the campus community benefits from new student housing, expanded research and classroom space, a modern dining hall, and world-class aquatic facilities.
Harris Village Student Housing
Consisting of three, 5-story buildings, Harris Village houses 382 students. Each facility includes apartments with private bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms for sophomore through senior-level undergraduates.
Harris Center for Science and Engineering
At 27,000 square feet, the Harris Center for Science and Engineering provides space for cybersecurity and information assurance research. It also houses faculty offices and labs for aquaculture and marine biology.
Panther Aquatic Center
An NCAA-qualified aquatic facility, the 32,000 square-foot Panther Aquatic Center includes a competition pool and a recreation pool, both with nine, 25-yard lanes. Each pool uses geothermal heating and cooling systems to control water temperature.
Panther Dining Hall
The 25,000 square-foot, 500-seat dining hall is the face of Florida Tech Food Services. The largest of the university’s dining facilities, Panther Dining Hall sits at the center of campus.