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Sweet Dreams: Trendy Dorms in Florida

Osprey Fountains
The $1.3-million pool complex at Osprey Fountains has a lazy river. [Photo: University of North Florida]

Osprey Fountains

University of North Florida, Jacksonville
Building cost: $86 million
Beds: 1,000
Opened: 2009

Amenities: Game room, fitness center with aerobics studio, themed lounges, swimming pool complex, convenience store, lighted tennis courts, lighted volleyball court, basketball court, running track, putting green and picnic tables

Floor plans: Mostly four-bedroom suites with a handful of six-bedroom suites and private rooms

Rates: $4,600/semester (one-bed private); $3,025/semester (four-bed private); $2,825/semester (six-bed private); $2,600/semester (six-bed double)

Notable: Osprey Fountains' most noticeable luxury feature is its $1.3-million pool area, featuring a "lazy river" with inner tubes. The dorm has several themed lounges, including the "Galaxy," a gamer's retreat equipped with Wii sets, PS3s and XBox360s; the "B.L.O.C.," a bean-bag study lounge; the "Upper Deck," a sports and entertainment lounge with giant-screen plasma TVs; and the "Morgue," a 24-hour study lounge. A "laundry view monitoring system" allows students to monitor the status of washers and dryers and set text reminders for when loads of laundry have completed.

The Commons
The Commons has 16 community living rooms and 16 study rooms. [Photo: Nova Southeastern University]

The Commons

Nova Southeastern University, Davie
Building cost: $45 million (two buildings)
Beds: 525
Opened: 2007

Amenities: Unlimited free laundry, wireless internet, cable TV, 16 lounges

Floor plans: Suites with four single bedrooms or three single bedrooms and one double (shared) room

Rates: $3,960/semester (single); $3,221/year (double); Residents are also required to purchase a $1,300 "declining balance" plan that covers food and drinks.

Notable: The five-story, state-of-the-art living quarters house 525 students and include 16 community living rooms and 16 study rooms. Groups of rooms are organized into "communities," which house students sharing similar academic or social interests. Studious types can reside in the "Quiet Corridor." Student leader types can opt for a community that brings together leaders from executive boards of clubs and organizations, student government and other groups.

Innovation Village
Each unit at Innovation Village has a common kitchen. And the dorm has its own pool. [Photo: Florida Atlantic University]

Innovation Village

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
Building cost: $67 million (two buildings)
Beds: 1,216
Opening: August

Amenities: Swimming pool, barbecue grills, sand volleyball court, digital cable TV, convenience store, computer lab, "smart" conference rooms and a multipurpose activity room

Floor plans: Four-bedroom/two-bathroom layouts and two-bedroom/two-bathroom layouts

Rates: $4,599/semester (four-bed/two-bath single room); 
$4,802/semester (two-bed/two-bath single room)

Notable: The buildings contain 1,216 beds, all singles. Each unit has a common kitchen. Units in the north building have individual laundry facilities.

Towers at Knights Plaza
Towers at Knights Plaza has apartment-style units with single bedrooms with full-size beds. [Photo: University of Central Florida]

Towers at Knights Plaza

University of Central Florida, Orlando
Building cost: $67 million (two buildings)
Beds: 2,000
Opened: From 2005 to 2007

Amenities: Single bedrooms with full-size beds; high-speed internet and cable television in each bedroom; kitchens with dishwashers

Floor plans: Apartment-style rooms include one-, two- and four-bedroom suites.

Rates: $8,897/year (fall, spring and summer semester) for a four-bedroom/two-bathroom setup; $9,953/year for a single

Notable: The four towers house 2,000 students who have private rooms with full-size beds. One tower is designated as UCF's Honors Living-Learning Community, providing a computer lab with free printing for honors students.

Dining at UCF
Just outside the 2,000-student towers is a strip of retail shops and restaurants. [Photo: University of Central Florida]
Juniper-Poplar Hall
Juniper-Poplar is the biggest dorm on USF's campus, with some floors having themed living learning communities. The dorm also has its own dining hall. [Photo: University of South Florida]

Juniper-Poplar

University of South Florida, Tampa
Building cost: $65 million
Beds: 1,050
Opened: 2009

Amenities: Ethernet connection for each resident, cable TV, 24-hour emergency maintenance, three state-of-the-art "smart" classrooms, in-house dining hall that can accommodate 350, convenience store, Starbucks, barbecue-style restaurant

Floor plans: Suite-style. Each suite has two double bedrooms and one bathroom

Rates: $2,616/semester

Notable: Rooms at USF's largest residence hall are more spacious than many of the school's other dorms. Some of the floors are themed living learning communities intended to foster ties between students with similar academic interests. The school's Honors College residences are also housed in Juniper-Poplar as is a bridge program for international students, which pairs one honors student with one international student in a living unit so both have an opportunity to learn about different cultures and lifestyles. The building has its own live-in academic. Julie Langford, an assistant professor of history who has lived in the residence hall since it opened, invites colleagues to speak at a "lunch and learn" lecture series and teaches her "Sex in the City" class on ancient Rome in the building's classrooms.

North Lake Village
North Lake Village overlooks Florida Gulf Coast's 60-acre recreational lake. [Photo: Florida Gulf Coast University]

North Lake Village

Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers
Building cost: N/A
Beds: 1,949
Opened: 1998

Amenities: A computer-monitored laundry facility, swimming pool, volleyball court, barbecue areas, big-screen TV and a game room. Each unit has a full kitchen.

Floor plans: Single- and double-bedroom apartments

Rates: $2,364 to $2,890/semester

Notable: FGCU's North Lake Village sits at the edge of a 60-acre lake where students can sunbathe, water-ski, sail and kayak.

Wesley and Nicholas Halls
Wesley and Nicholas Halls, designed by renown architect Robert A.M. Stern, are both lakefront. [Photos: Florida Southern College]

Wesley and Nicholas HallsWesley and Nicholas Halls

Florida Southern College, Lakeland
Building cost: N/A — the facilities were funded by FSC alumni Carol Jenkins Barnett (class of '79) and Barney Barnett ('65) and Publix Super Markets Charities.
Beds: 240
Opened: 2008 and 2009

Amenities: Lakeside view, meeting rooms, contemporary student lounges with flat-screen TVs, wireless internet and Danish-style furniture

Floor plans: Singles and doubles

Rates: $5,182/year (double), $6,612/year (single); meal plans range from $2,544 to $3,826.

Notable: Most bedrooms have a view of Lake Hollingsworth. Designed by world-renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern (dean of the Yale School of Architecture), the twin buildings were built to complement the style of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed many of the buildings on FSC's Lakeland campus. Reserved for upperclassmen, the two buildings (collectively known as the Barnett Residential Life Center) feature spacious living quarters, four student l ounges, pendant lighting by avante-garde designer Enrico Franzolini and a loft lounge with kitchen facilities on the fourth floor.

Wesley and Nicholas Halls
View of the lake from inside Wesley and Nicholas Halls. [Photo: Florida Southern College]
Landis Hall
The 72-year-old Landis Hall underwent an $18-million renovation in 2006. The old rooms, which had common bathrooms, were replace with suite-style units. [Photo: Florida State University]

Landis Hall

Florida State University, Tallahassee
Beds: 403
Opened: 1939

Floor plans: Singles, singles with bath, doubles, doubles with bath, triples, triples with bath and quads with bath

Rates: $2,600 to $3,250/semester

Notable: Located in the center of FSU's main campus, Landis Hall combines historical charm with modern convenience. The 72-year-old building underwent an $18-million renovation five years ago that eliminated communal bathrooms in favor of suite-style living and added modern amenities like smart classrooms and wireless internet access.

Landis Hall
Landis Hall [Photos: Florida State University]
Landis Hall

Heavy Petting

To help students cope with the stress of living away from home, some schools allow students to bring their pets with them. Wesley and Nicholas HallsLast fall, Stetson University in DeLand designated about three dozen dorm rooms "pet friendly." Students living in those rooms are allowed one pet each, with dogs limited to 30 pounds or less. Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, meanwhile, has been welcoming pets to its campus since 1972. According to StudentAdvisor.com, there were 35 cats, ferrets and dogs registered to live on Eckerd's campus in 2010.