UCF, Valencia Announce Plans for Proposed Downtown Campus

ORLANDO – University of Central Florida officials announced on Tuesday, Sept. 23, that they are planning to create a downtown Orlando campus that will share space with Valencia College.

“Central Florida is a ‘can do’ community because of what we ‘can do’ together,” said John Hitt, president of UCF, at a breakfast of community leaders. “Today…we explore a vision for UCF in Orlando that could energize downtown and redefine its future.”

UCF officials, along with officials from the city of Orlando, say inspiration for the new downtown campus came from Arizona State University’s campus in downtown Phoenix, where more than 11,500 students now attend classes.

Construction of a new campus will depend, however, on state funding. UCF officials say planning for the proposed downtown campus is in the early stages. Valencia officials are assisting UCF throughout the planning.

“We are just delighted to be a part of this exciting new project in downtown Orlando,” said Sanford Shugart, president of Valencia College. “Our results, working together in partnership—UCF, Valencia and Orange County Public Schools—have been recognized around the country. On this foundation we hope to build the future economy of Orlando and greater Central Florida.

“When you bring the power of that collaboration together to reactivate the west side of downtown, there’s no telling what we can accomplish, not just for our students and the future of the city, but for the people who live and work downtown. We’ll start by engaging the people in the Parramore community to find out what programs would be transformational for their lives and their families.”

Valencia is considering moving its culinary and hospitality programs from the West Campus on Kirkman Road to the new downtown campus. In addition, Valencia will offer core general education classes for students pursuing Associate of Arts degrees.

UCF officials have not named the programs that will move downtown from its main campus, although Hitt said that the programs that move downtown may include digital media and visual arts programs, as well as WUCF-TV, and public service majors. For more information on UCF’s downtown expansion, visit their website: http://www.ucf.edu/downtown/