UCF plans retirement community near campus

Author: Julie Broughton, Weather
Published On: Jan 28 2014 06:01:05 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 28 2014 08:13:57 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

The nation's second largest university is about to get a little more diverse.

The University of Central Florida Foundation just spent $6 million on 59 acres near campus on McCulloch Road in Seminole County. That land is the future home of UCF's new retirement community.

According to UCF Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Grant Heston, other universities, including the University of Florida, have successful retirement communities and UCF has already fielded inquiries from prospective residents.

Those residents would have access to the same amenities as traditional students.

"If you want to go to a football game, or a baseball game, or if you're into politics and want to hear some of our great guest speakers, or maybe just learn more, say about psychology, this is a great opportunity to do that," Heston said.

Heston says housing options will include both independent and assisted living.

UCF junior Jason Bailey says his main concern is mixing older drivers with the student population.

But student Samantha Sokolis tells us she would embrace the learning opportunity.

"I love the educational part. I loved hearing my grandfather's stories and I don't get to hear those anymore," she said.

Heston says because of attitudes like that, this project is a win-win.

"The more a university is connected into a community, the better the university and community are," Heston said.

Heston tells Local 6 the project is beginning its development phase, and while he cannot confirm a timeframe as to when the facility will open, he says it will likely be sooner rather than later.

Cost for residents is also still being determined.