ST. PETERSBURG --
A brand new, faith-based residence hall is heading toward the University of South Florida.
Leaders from the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, the Catholic Center at USF and Newman Housing Fund just broke ground on the facility that will be housed on Diocese property, but be open to students of all faiths.
"When you look at students across the country, 80 percent of them stop practicing their faith. That's just a statistic and we've got to address it," Matthew Zerrusen with the Newman Student Housing Fund said.
The residence hall will be 80,000 square feet and house 208 beds. It is the ninth of its kind in the country and the first faith-based residence hall offered to USF students.
"Ultimately it's a building that is very safe, new, but also one that helps build a community of people that you know is a safe place where you can go and talk about faith," Fr. Justin Paskert said.
"It's really nice to have that support to lean on in times of trouble and school and what not," student Ashlie O’Brien said.
Construction on the faith-based residence hall is expected to be complete by August 2017