FSU Completes New LEED Gold Honors Facility

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University (FSU) celebrated the formal dedication of its new Honors, Scholars and Fellows House on March. 6. The four-story, 37,000-square-foot annex in the heart of the FSU campus offers students an academically inspiring setting, and facilitates intellectual exchange among honors undergraduates, graduate students and fellows.

According to the university, the new Honors, Scholars & Fellows House was created to promote a sense of community among the campus’ brightest, most hard-working students, and to provide those students with support as they reach new levels of success. In the new facility, students will be encouraged to share creative ideas; build lasting relationships; discover new ways of thinking; and utilize programs, academic services and mentorship opportunities like never before.

The new pre-certified LEED Gold Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, designed by Gould Evans Architecture of Kansas City, features a variety of offices, classrooms, reading rooms and collaborative spaces in a classic envelope. The brick exterior, complete with a rooftop terrace, was intended to have a cottage feel, while the interior offers plenty of natural light and a lofted, layered design.

The first floor of the annex has been open to the general student population since September, with two restaurants, a convenience store, and areas for both socializing and study. While the first floor was occupied, crews finished construction on the upper floors, receiving a certificate of occupancy in January. These upper floors, which also include a banquet hall, bring together honors undergraduate students with graduate students and fellows to foster intellectual exchange and collaboration. The Honors, Scholars & Fellows House will also be home to the Honors Program, the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Office of National Fellowships, the Fellows Society, the Office of Graduate Fellowships and the Program for Instructional Excellence.
“This will be a place for students to go to get special advising, meet with other students and to meet with faculty,” James Mathes, director of the University Honors Program, told the FSU News as construction commenced. “It is a home away from home.”

Construction on the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House required a high degree of coordination. Keeping construction on schedule while minimizing disruption to campus life in particular posed unique challenges in the midst of a busy campus of more than 40,000 students. To accommodate both academic life and budget constraints, the facility was completed in five different phases. Crews also paved a new roadway in the front of the building, and added new sidewalks and landscaping.

The $15.6 million Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, also known as the Johnston Building Annex, was completed by Peter Brown Construction, a division of Moss & Associates, in just 15 months. According to Vice President of Peter Brown Construction, Brad Will, the new facility will also help position the school as a magnet for high achieving students. "This is all about the academics, and is part of the university’s push to be one of the top 25 public research institutions in the country,” Will said.

The new building also compliments the recently renovated William Johnston Building, originally built in the early 1900s in the Jacobean architectural style seen throughout the FSU campus. Peter Brown Construction also served as construction manager for that $38 million renovation, modernizing the interior, bringing the structure up to code, and expanding it to 145,000 square feet.