Students move in to new UCF campus in downtown Orlando

Classes start Monday

By Ezzy Castro - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Hundreds of students moved in to their dorms at UnionWest, the new student housing tower for the University of Central Florida and Valencia College students at the new UCF campus in downtown Orlando. 

Freshman Ashley Leandres moved from St. Petersburg and is majoring in digital media. She said the location of her new home will bring in new opportunities. 

"I'm really excited. I have great high hopes," Leandres said. 

The 15-floor building offers state-of-the-art dorms that include private bedrooms and bathrooms. Each residential floor includes a large gathering area with a full kitchen.

Resident assistant and student Camila Ricaurte said she is excited to be able to go to school and work within walking distance of her dorm.

"I can bike there and this is an amazing location. I love downtown and getting situated here is an amazing opportunity," Ricaurte said.

The new campus has been years in the making and city officials believe it will bring as much as $1.5 billion to the area.

"It's a chance to work with the Parramore community now that we are going to be a part of and also really to plant the seeds for renovation in the middle of downtown, UCF Interim President Thad Seymour said.

About 7,000 students have enrolled at the new campus but not all will live at UnionWest. Classes begin on Monday.

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