Currently the 3rd oldest building on campus, Newell Hall was built in 1910 to serve as the home of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. The building was renovated in 1943 under the direction of Rudolph Weaver and named in 1944 for Dr. Wilmon E. Newell, a director of the Station and provost for Agriculture. From the mid-1940s until being vacated in 2012, Newell Hall housed labs and offices for what later became the UF Institute for Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). In 1979, the building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and later became a part of the University of Florida’s Campus Historic District.
In more modern times, the University of Florida has grown into a Top 20 public institution. Yet, there remains a significant need for more space in which students can learn and work collaboratively, beyond the traditional classroom/lab environment. In 2013, recognizing this serious need, a delegation of student representatives went to Tallahassee to request funding from the Legislature to renovate historic Newell Hall into a modern learning space for UF students.
The renovations to the 28,000 SF Newell Hall will transform the existing, historic facility into a 21st century learning space centrally-located on campus to serve all University of Florida students. To foster a unique and creative environment, three underlying themes will be infused:
These three themes will be integrated seamlessly throughout the design of Newell Hall. Additionally, the renovations will create four specific types of spaces that will be located throughout the entire building. These include space for:
The design and construction team are working closely with representatives from the UF Student Government and the Dean of Students Office, to renew the image of Newell Hall, creating a modern, vibrant interior environment that fosters and encourages student learning, while respecting the tradition of the building’s historic past.