Officials hoping to bring a UCF campus to Downtown Orlando will be presenting to the board governing the State University System of Florida this Thursday.
This is not the first time that the Board of Governors will be hearing about UCF Downtown campus. In January, leaders from UCF, Valencia College, and the City of Orlando presented a workshop and tour for the Board of Governors about the proposed campus. A week later, when the 17 board members met to vote on the endorsing the project, they decided to delay the decision until February’s meeting.
Integrated urban campuses like UCF Downtown have been successful in other cities around the country. For example, Arizona State University has a large urban campus in downtown Phoenix. The new campus gave the University an opportunity to recreate their journalism college. The ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is now one of the most prestigious programs in the nation. With already several national-ranking programs, UCF Downtown hopes that an urban experience will bring similar benefits to the programs they hope to bring to Downtown Orlando.
Leaders and community members around the proposed campus are also interested in the impact the UCF Downtown will have on the surrounding area. At last month’s workshop, City Commissioner Regina Hill had this to say about the Downtown Campus’ effect on local residents’ education, “We’re not just talking about transforming a city, we’re talking about transforming lives.”
The Downtown campus is projected to cost about $200 million. Officials have admitted that their timeline to open the campus for the 2017 Fall Semester is aggressive, but attainable.
Two other large capital projects will be in front of theBoard of Governors this Thursday: USF Health College of Medicine in Downtown Tampa and UF Norman Hall Remodel.
You can watch the live stream of the meeting on the Florida Board of Governors website.