UCF's new downtown campus ready to welcome thousands

Campus includes student housing, state-of-the-art education center

By Lauren Cervantes - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - More than 7,000 students are expected to descend on the brand new University of Central Florida downtown campus as a new school year begins.

Officials from both UCF and Valencia College said Monday that they're ready for the big opening and the opportunities ahead. 

What's unique about the campus is its proximity to the business community. One of the goals of the new location is to better connect students with internships and career opportunities from surrounding businesses.

[RELATED: UCF police open substation ahead of classes at new downtown campusConstruction continues on UCF downtown campus]

Gabriella Briones, a third-year culinary student for Valencia College, is excited for the opening.

"There's so much more opportunity here," Briones said.

The Union West building plays host to a state-of-the-art kitchen for those enrolled in the university's culinary program. The building will also provide housing to more than 600 students.

UCF and Valencia College hope surrounding residents will benefit from the new downtown campus, and that nearby neighborhoods will see the economic impact. 

Students will begin moving in Wednesday, with classes set to begin Monday.

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