The University of Central Florida (UCF) has outlined a play-by-play development plan but deferred its presentation originally planned for a Nov. 5 State University System Board of Governors meeting.
“UCF remains committed to developing a campus in downtown Orlando to serve our students and our community,” Grant J. Heston, vice-president for communications and marketing, said in announcing the postponement. “We asked to postpone our presentation to the Board of Governors to a future meeting to provide the most comprehensive overview possible.”
“We appreciate the support of our partners and the entire community to build a downtown campus that will make high-quality education more affordable and accessible in Central Florida.”
The UCF Downtown project has built momentum in recent weeks, the university said in a news release.
Earlier, Orange County Commissioners unanimously committed $3 million to the campus project.
As well, Valencia College’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 21 approved the downtown campus as a top priority and plans to contribute $2 million toward the construction of a new academic building that it will share with UCF.
Other project partners include the City of Orlando, Orange County Public Schools and Creative Village Development, LLC.
Project highlights for UCF Downtown:
- Plans to serve nearly 7,700 UCF and Valencia students in digital media, communication, public service and health-related programs in an innovative, urban environment.
- Offers a 4-year degree for about $6,000 less in tuition and fees than the state university system average.
- Benefits thousands of students by placing them within walking distance of internship and employment opportunities.
Earlier, Orlando Business Journal reported that UCF says it plans to commence the new campus design phase in March 2016 and begin construction in March 2017. This would allow for a May 2018 completion, pending approvals and the availability of funds. Classes would start in August that year.
The new campus would occupy 15 acres at 500 W. Livingston St. in Orlando and, on opening day, would serve about 7,500 students from Valencia College and UCF.
The new campus would sit on about 15 acres at 500 W. Livingston St. in Orlando, and on opening day, would serve about 7,500 students from UCF and Valencia College.
“About $5 million in renovations would happen at the existing UCF facility, the Center for Emerging Media, and a $60 million academic building would be constructed next door,” the business publication reported. “UCF plans to ask for one-third, or about $20 million, from the 2016-17 state budget, and fund the remaining two-thirds from donations and university money.”
If the State University System approves the proposal, UCF can move forward with planning and requesting state funds.
UCF president John Hitt has been quoted as saying this revised plan “is more likely to be approved,” and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, ” We will not rest until this game-changing campus becomes a reality, benefiting our city and our entire region.”