Construction on track for UCF Downtown campus

New campus set to open Aug. 26

ORLANDO, Fla. – Officials with the University of Central Florida Downtown campus said they are on track to open the new campus in time for the first day of school in August.
The university gave News 6 an inside look at the new campus during a hard-hat tour Wednesday.

The new campus, which is a partnership between UCF and Valencia College, will bring 7,700 students to live, learn, and work in downtown Orlando. 
Mike Kilbride is the assistant president of UCF Downtown. He said the future is looking bright for the new campus.
"This is really a campus where you can start here and graduate here. So a full experience with the same student services that we offer in a unique environment," Kilbride said. 

The campus is made up of the Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, the UnionWest at Creative Village student housing tower and the Center for Emerging Media.
Kilbride said the classrooms will have state-of-the-art equipment with mobile connectivity. There will also be study lounges throughout the academic commons building where students can work and relax between classes. 
"This really is a space for students to be where they can call this campus their own," Kilbride said. 

More than 20 academic programs from both UCF and Valencia College will be based at the downtown campus. 
Eugene Jones is the executive dean for Valencia College's downtown campus. He said the school's culinary and hospitality program will also be based here and is growing.
"We've tripled the size from our program on the west campus down here. Our aim is to be in the top three nationally in culinary and hospitality," Jones said. 
Kilbride said the downtown environment will help students in these programs. 
"This will distinctively be a downtown campus that has opportunities for students that may not be available on the east campus when you think about it that way. They can walk to their internships in these majors, as well as have access to a rich environment," Kilbride said. 
The student housing tower features more than 640 beds and students from both institutions can live there. There are a variety of units available with rent anywhere from $760 to $1,210 per month. 
UCF police will also patrol the campus. Kilbride said safety is a top priority.
The campus will also feature a variety of services, including a gym, for students so they won't have to leave the campus.
"We'll also have heath services, counseling services, student success services, academic advising, career services. All of these services students may look for when they're at UCF or Valencia will be available at this building," Kilbride said.
Kilbride said faculty and staff are scheduled to start moving into the buildings at the beginning of August. Students can move into the housing tower Aug. 21, and classes begin Aug. 26. 


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