By Eric Althoff
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The University of Florida has announced that its long-in-planning addition to its construction and design school is now underway.
The university’s College of Design, Construction and Planning (DCP) has broken ground on the $32 million Bruno E. and Maritza F. Ramos Collaboratory, named after a prominent alumnus and his wife, who collectively donated funding for the project.
The new building will add 50,000 square feet to the DCP, encompassing lecture space, research hubs and various other educational areas devoted to 3D printing and virtual reality.
The Ramos facility has been envisioned by designer Brooks + Scarpa, based in Los Angeles but which has a Florida office in Fort Lauderdale. That firm is actually headed by DCP alums Angela Brooks, Larry Scarpa and Jeffrey Huber. The architects will be working in concert with construction manager Stellar, which is based out of Jacksonville.
When completed, the Ramos will feature two semi-circular wings that connect to the existing building, which first opened in 1979. Design elements will entail floor-to-ceiling windows and will also take into account weather-proofing in the hurricane-prone Sunshine State.
In a statement about the project, Bruno Ramos said that the University of Florida said he and his wife are excited to give back to their alma mater.
“Maritza and I are extremely excited to help bring the Collaboratory to fruition and are certain that this facility will help develop future DCP graduates throughout their education at UF,” he said. “This building will become the launching pad as they take off from Gainesville and make a meaningful impact in our world.”
The new building is due to open in 2025.