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UCF Officials Ask Lawmakers For $57M To Build New Campus Downtown

The University of Central Florida. Photo: University of Central Florida.
The University of Central Florida. Photo: University of Central Florida.

Officials from the University of Central Florida are taking a trip Tallahassee that could be worth $57 million. This week, UCF president, John Hitt, will ask lawmakers for money to build a campus downtown.

The proposal is the first step in a multiphase, multimillion dollar expansion project. In a partnership, UCF and Valencia College would share a building that would house degree programs and serve about 10,000 students.

Dan Holsenbeck, senior vice president for university relations at UCF, says it would increase access to education in a central location.

“Offering these kinds of programs in a partnership with the metropolitan area, ie the city that is our host, is a huge part of a contemporary vision for the 21st century university,” he says.

Senate President Andy Gardiner, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli a UCF alumnus, and state senator David Simmons have all backed the project. Simmons is cautiously optimistic about the Legislature approving the project. He says a metropolitan campus would breathe new life into the region.

“They dramatically improve the lifestyle of those who are in the Orlando area and with its location in the area west of I-4, it’s going to benefit Orlando tremendously,” he says.

There are plans for a second building in a multiphase project that could cost up to $200 million.