by Lauren Ball
A few months ago, we told you about UCF's tentative plan to create a downtown Orlando campus. Today, a UCF committee voted on adding a new downtown campus to UCF's 5-year-plan and a board of trustees officially approved the possible construction plans. The new campus, which would cost approximately $75 million to build with another added $15 million for a parking garage with a capacity for 1300, is as a potential concept for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The addition would also share its facilities with Valencia College, making the price tag a little less steep in the process.
Though a downtown UCF campus would certainly come with its downfalls (think usual I-4 rush hour traffic doubled), the idea of a UCF presence downtown also has its perks. College kid-friendly downtown businesses would flourish during class hours, and the additional space could help certain UCF programs thrive (city planning and metropolitan research, for instance). For now, UCF officials are still in the midst of the study stage of the process. Spokesmen Chad Binette stating quite matter-of-factly, “We have begun studying the possibility of an expanded UCF presence downtown, and consultants met last week with campus and community leaders..." However, be on the lookout for construction in the near future and, maybe in a few years time, a younger-looking crowd wandering the streets of downtown.