By Kathleen Bagg
Catholic students attending the University of North Florida this fall will have another choice for student housing – a choice that many parents will rejoice about.
Last August, Bishop Felipe Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine joined officials with the Dallas-based Newman Student Housing Fund in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new faith-based student housing community that is located just one mile from the center of UNF’s campus and adjacent to the new Catholic Student Center at 11277 Alumni Way in Jacksonville.
The first stage of the planned complex is ahead of schedule and is now leasing apartments. The spacious floor plans include one, two and four bedroom apartments that are fully furnished with many amenities. There are a total of 204 beds available in the first phase of the project expected to be completed in plenty of time for the fall semester. The units can be leased for 10 months or one year and rent is very competitive to alternative housing available on campus.
The new housing complex has been named Frassati Newman Hall after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who was called by Pope John Paul II “a man of eight beatitudes.” He was dedicated to the works of social action, charity, prayer and community – and involved with Catholic youth and student groups, the Apostleship of Prayer and Catholic Action. Beatified on May 20, 1990, Frassati was a third order Dominican.
“Living at Frassati Hall is an experience like no other in Jacksonville,” said Carter Johnson, general manager of Campus Advantage, the management company retained by Newman Student Housing Fund to manage the complex and its staff. A 2006 graduate of St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine, Carter graduated from Central Florida University with a degree in hospitality management.
“We promote faith-based living in order to help students develop their whole self while away at college. We call it ‘living with a spiritual compass.’ “If you’re looking for an inspiring and motivated environment to help you succeed as a committed college student and want to have fun in an encouraging and positive environment, then you’ve found your home,” said Carter.
Frassati Hall maintains an honor code and has an active residence life program. Right next door to the housing complex is the Catholic Student Center with a chapel that can seat 60. There you will find a full time priest, Father Blair Gaynes, and a robust campus ministry that includes a variety of activities like Bible Study, Mass, sacramental preparation, classes, retreats, community service projects, parties and other weekly events.