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Rice Family Pavilion finally opens for business

The banquet room retained the architecture of the original bookstore. (Enzo Romano)

The Rice Family Pavilion officially opened, giving the campus and greater community a formal space to convene and host events. 

Originally constructed as a student center in 1942, the building was repurposed from a bookstore and cafe into a multi-faceted facility that can hold more than 200 people and houses a full kitchen downstairs. 

Here is how the campus plans to use the facility: 

What kind of events will be hosted at the pavilion?

A wide range of events will take place there, including admissions events, mini concerts, receptions, dinners, and smaller fairs or expos. The pavilion can hold 239 people, making it the largest formal event space on campus aside from the Alfond Sports Center. 

Additionally, there is a new kitchen and freezer in the basement of the building where Dining Services or catering companies can easily prepare meals for events. 

The rotunda was a new addition to the building, decorated with a tiled “R” in the center. (Enzo Romano)

Can students rent it out?

Student organizations will be able to rent it out. “We are looking at a discounted rental fee for student organization events scheduled for the weekends when we would otherwise be renting the space,” said Megan Joyner, director of Scheduling and Event Services. 

While a student policy has not yet been finalized, the registration process will be similar to the one that currently exists between Scheduling and Event Services and the Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement, said Joyner. 

Can outside events rent out the space?

Yes, the space will be used to bring in revenue, according to Joyner. However, any profit made from external events will go toward an endowed scholarship fund for Rollins Crew athletes. 

“The city of Winter Park lacks a venue comparable to the Rice Family Pavilion in size, so I foresee this space being used a lot for events for the Winter Park community,” said Joyner. 

Currently, there is one wedding reception booked for a Rollins alumna in April.

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