FAMU Hosts U.S. Department of Education, TMCF Officials, Announce Naming of Rattler Pointe

April 28, 2023
Rattler Pointe Naming Ceremony
FAMU Hosts U.S. Department of Education, TMCF Officials, Announce Naming of Rattler Pointe

Florida A&M University unveiled the new names of two recently acquired apartment complexes Wednesday.

The unveiling of Rattler Pointe West and Rattler Pointe East occurred as University administrators hosted representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), who were instrumental in helping to secure funding for the student housing and other pandemic era initiatives.

Using U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) dollars, FAMU acquired the renamed 118-unit Lighthouse at Brooklyn Yard and the 116-unit Citivue at Railroad Square on Eugenia Street on the northern perimeter of the campus. Those beds, reserved for juniors, seniors, and graduate students, have been added to the on-campus student housing inventory.

This fall, the University will have over 2,600 on campus beds available for students. Due to skyrocketing rents for off-campus apartments, many upper classmen sought on campus housing in fall 2022. Acquiring the two properties was designed to address that demand.

“We are so appreciative for these funds that allowed us to acquire these two properties,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “One of the biggest challenges was to provide quality housing for students who want to attend our University. And that’s what we have for them in these two units that we acquired in the last six months. The location can’t get any better for upper classmen and graduate students. FAMU is right here.”

U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Director Karen Epps applauded the University for deploying the federal dollars to meet present and future needs.

“We are just so honored and so proud that FAMU was strategic with its intent to make HEERF funding a sustainability, capacity-building investment,” Epps said, addressing a gathering of Robinson and other University officials. “Because the Emergency Response unit makes things happen, we believe FAMU makes things happen.”

Karen EppsFAMU President Larry Robinson, right, listens as Karen Epps, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) speaks on Wednesday April 26, 2023. (Credit: Glenn Beil)

Also attending the event was David Sheppard, TMCF’s chief business and legal officer. Sheppard said the apartment complex acquisition resulted from the hand-in-hand collaboration among his organization, the U.S.  Department of Education and HBCUs. Sheppard said TMCF was instrumental in persuading federal officials to repurpose HEERF dollars that “were sitting on the sidelines” and could not be used to address the infrastructure needs of struggling schools during the pandemic.

“It is key for our institutions like Florida A&M University and other HBCUs to have the infrastructure needed to have an impact on their student population,” said Sheppard. “Announcements, like the one today, are the culmination of months and years’ worth of effort to provide dollars to make these infrastructure goals possible, and we are greatly pleased to be with you to see the fruits of our labors and to give these students an opportunity to be in the best quality housing.”

The unveiling was held a week after the University announced plans to construct 2,000 new student beds in three new residence halls over the next several years to meet the demand of those students who want to live on campus. The $238 million initiative would be the most ambitious housing construction in the University’s 135-year history and increase on-campus housing to more than 4,600 beds.

Funding for the construction will be sought under the HBCU Federal Loan Program, under which FAMU constructed the 700-bed FAMU Towers in 2019. At the time, FAMU’s $125 million loan was the largest under the program.

Beds Are Filling Up Fast

To ensure that first time in college students get on campus housing this fall, the Office of University Housing is urging them to apply early. Newly admitted students mustpay the $200 admission’s deposit before they will be able to access the University’s Housing application portal.

The deadline for newly admitted students to submit the Housing application for 2023-2024 is 5 p.m. Friday, May 5, 2023.The University cannot guarantee on-campus housing or assignment to a particular building, floor, or room. Housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have any questions regarding your on-campus housing status, please contact: 

Office of University Housing 

1735 Wahnish Way, CASS Building Suite 305, Tallahassee, FL 32310 

P: (850) 599-3651

E: famuhousing@famu.edu