Written by Sofia Galiano/Asst. News Director
The University will formally welcome the new Royal Caribbean facility, located at the Biscayne Bay Campus, in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, March 20.
FIU commemorates the recent partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the completion of the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Entertainment Production Studio.
The University signed a deal with the Miami-based cruise line to build their entertainment studio on campus grounds in December 2013, and the building opened for business last January. The deal aligns with the University’s strategic commitment to the arts and to build win-win public-private partnerships, according to President Mark B. Rosenberg in a press release.
Several months later, FIU faculty and student leaders will get their first glance inside the 130,000-square-foot facility.
“I think it’s going to be everyone’s first time for the most part,” said Jazmin Felix, Student Government Association president at BBC, on entering the building.
The three-story, state-of-the art entertainment studio has a 300-seat theater, 20,000-square-foot costume facility and 10 other rehearsal studios.
Part of the deal includes ROYAL@FIU World Stage Collaborative, a program offering hospitality and architecture University students exclusive access to these facilities via research and other internship opportunities.
At least 20 students of the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and College of Architecture and the Arts receive paid part-time internships this summer at the new facility.
Felix said the partnership is a good opportunity for hospitality and CARTA students because it will help them gain experience. They will also have access to RCL’s proprietary data for their research.
“Hospitality internships will include hands-on experience in operations and management,” said President Mark B. Rosenberg in an email about the ceremony.
According to Rosenberg, arts internships will include music, theater and visual arts – from stage management, lighting and design to auditions, promotion, rehearsals and final production.
“Royal Caribbean considers South Florida home, and what better way to give back to the community than to be able to enrich the education of FIU students,” said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean.
“We are excited to partner with FIU on our new entertainment facility, not only because it will enable Royal Caribbean to continue to produce world-class entertainment for our ships, but because it will provide an opportunity for FIU students to receive a unique and hands-on education in the hospitality industry,” Fain said.
Royal Caribbean has also benefited with housing provisions offered by the University at Bay Vista Housing. Over 200 students who lived in the residential space had to leave by May 1 of last year, leaving the campus without any housing available for students.
However, students confronted health-safety issues at Bay Vista Housing due to its poor construction. According to a powerpoint obtained by Student Media, Royal Caribbean has invested nearly $6.5 million into renovating the facilities to provide housing for RCL employees.
President Rosenberg will deliver a speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony, as well as RCL Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. Following this will be a reception.
The event will be held in the Royal Caribbean studio, from 10:15 a.m. to noon and is by invitation only, with the general student body unable to attend, according to Jehnny Rivera, Divisions of External Relations coordinator.