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What’s Next For UCF Downtown Orlando Campus After Approval

UCF's proposed downtown campus.

The Florida Board of Governors Wednesday approved UCF’s plan for a downtown Orlando campus.

It will sit on the site of the former Orlando Magic area. The $60 million project will be funded with an equal split of private donations, state money and UCF funding money.

Two members of the board of governors voted against the project at Wednesday’s meeting. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed funding for the project last year, but UCF Board Chairman Marcos Marchena said the governor had input on this latest proposal.

“An example of a concern that resulted in a change to the project was over UCF building housing downtown,” Marchena said. “Frankly, we looked at the proposed project and made a determination we would not build housing downtown and let that be a private sector activity.”

Still, the project wasn’t approved unanimously. Dean Colson on the Board of Governors voted against it, saying UCF is a very good university – but isn’t a great university.

“And building another campus is not a step forward in becoming great,” Colson said. “If UCF were here today asking for $100 million dollars for a new science building and to recruit five or 10 academic stars, I would be supportive.”

The next step is to get the Florida Legislature to fund it in the budget. Dan Hoslenbeck, UCF’s vice president of university relations, said none of the capital projects have been revealed in the budget, but lawmakers must have a budget ready by next Tuesday though.

UCF will share the downtown campus will Valencia College, offering programs in digital media, healthcare and public service, among others.

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Abe Aboraya

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