UCF expands to Downtown Orlando



University of Central Florida will be expanding their campus to Downtown Orlando. The new campus provides new technology with the help of Valencia College.

Nicole Rumman, Entertainment Editor

When University of Central Florida first opened in 1968, it was a small, new school. Now, they are Florida’s largest and the nation’s second-largest university.

With state funding, UCF will be opening a downtown Orlando campus in the Fall of 2018. This project is expected to cost about $60 million. In addition, it will be located in the same site as the existing Center for Emerging Media, and “…would be surrounded by additional development, such as parking, housing, and student support services,” according to the UCF website.

Approximately more than 7,000 UCF and Valencia students will attend classes at the downtown campus, as said on the UCF website.

The new campus will be joining the “Creative Village” of downtown Orlando, which is a designated area in downtown that provides kindergarten through 12th grade education, hotels, public parks, retail, commercial, etc. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “UCF also seeks to build a 300-bed dormitory and a 600-space parking garage…”

UCF has created a “Downtown committee” to create a “…comprehensive strategic master planning process…” The areas the committee will be investigating are academic planning, student engagement, economic assessment, communications, and master planning.

Some of UCF’s partners in this expansion, are Valencia College, City of Orlando, Orange County Public Schools, Creative Village, Orlando Economic Development Commission and the Central Florida Partnership. Valencia and UCF will be working strongly together to integrate both programs onto the new campus. They will share academic space as well as student support services.

At the new campus there will be various student degree programs. The College of Arts and Humanities along with the College of Engineering and Computer Science may offer gaming labs from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy as well as media programs from the School of Visual Arts and Design.

Also, the College of Sciences may integrate journalism, radio and TV as well as advertising and public relations programs with the help of the Nicholson School of Communication. To go along with the media programs, there will be a radio program exclusively for UCF students- WUCF TV and WUCF-FM.

The College of Health and Public Affairs (COHPA) may bring public administration, public affairs, social work, criminal justice, legal studies, and disorders and health management to the downtown campus. And, the College of Education and Human Performance would accompany the COHPA in working towards out to local neighborhoods through early childhood education, instructional technology, and career and technical education programs.

The UCF downtown campus is believed to create jobs, attract more students, and expand the already massive school that is University of Central Florida. Having this project will hopefully be beneficial for both UCF, their students and the city of Orlando.