Architecture & Design and Education

Firm designs Florida Project of the Year

October 22, 2013
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Firm designs Florida Project of the Year
Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE helped design the Osprey dining hall at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. Photo via

Those who might think that design done in Grand Rapids doesn’t have an impact outside of West Michigan would be wrong.

The Associated Builders and Contractors of North Florida named the University of North Florida Osprey dining hall as its Project of the Year. The distinction behind that award is Progressive AE, a much-honored Grand Rapids firm, helped design the dining hall in Jacksonville, Fla.

“This project is a perfect example of how we can bring our expertise to niche projects and work closely with a local architect toward a successful project,” said Jack DeBruin, a practice leader at Progressive AE.

Progressive AE worked with local architectural firm Smith McCrary on the project. 

The dining hall

The dining portion of the Osprey building seats 600 students over two levels, which include an outdoor seating area that overlooks an adjacent lake and boardwalk.

Six micro restaurants are situated around the dining facility that offer food options in a made-to-order format. The setup serves the university’s 2,000 students in a tray-less fashion that reduces cost and food waste.

Progressive AE brought its dining hall experience, including its work on Brody Hall at MSU, to Florida for the university project, DeBruin said.

Progressive AE is a privately held, employee-owned firm that practices throughout North America. 

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