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Downtown UCF campus ‘makes sense’

March 28, 2014

Guess what, college kids – UCF may finally be increasing its presence in downtown Orlando, thanks to an additional $2 million added to the Florida Senate budget. In an interview with Orlando Business Journal, UCF President John Hitt said, “We’re at the very early planning stages. Before we went any further, we needed some good urban planners to look at whether it makes any sense.”

This expansion could mean more business for local shops and clubs as students make their way to the local Jimmy John’s or Gringos Locos in between study sessions, instead of hitting up the same ol’ Kyoto Sushi or Chick-fil-A currently on campus.

There is also the night scene to consider; after class, students could hit up IBAR or Back Booth, instead of needing to hop on 528 and speed to their favorite bar all the way across town. If the UCF presence is expanded downtown, would students who can’t stay away from the bar scene stop taking classes at the East Orlando location? Possibly, although certain required courses may only be offered on the main campus, just as photography classes are particular to the Daytona location because of the darkroom available for students to use.

“We’re a metropolitan research university,” says Chad Binette, Director of News and Information for UCF, in an interview with FOX 35. “So it only makes sense that we would look at whether it might be beneficial for us to move some of our programs into downtown Orlando.”

And the expansion is still tentative, as Hitt explained. Maybe they have something else in mind? Could we see a new Performing Arts Center emerge downtown or an extension of computer and science labs designed for student access only? (Computers aren’t hard to find on the current campus, but it can be an exercise in Zen patience when it comes to waiting for an open PC.)

We’ll keep you posted on the details in the near future, so don’t worry, Knights. The college dream of drinking all night and studying all day may come true if a campus is erected downtown.

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  • Kei

    the Church Street location is even being looked at as a potential site
    for a downtown campus, then that would be a damning indictment on the
    lack of “economic impact” generated by the construction of the
    Scamway… oops, I mean the Amway Center.

  • JigglyBits

    A downtown location for the school could help boost the use of the bus system. I couldn’t imagine being a broke-ass college student and paying for parking every day that I had class.
    However, if they installed a helicopter pad on the roof, I might consider going back to school… BOSS MODE style.

  • CityBeautiful

    UCF is already known as a party school… moving a branch to the heart of downtown, surrounded by nothing but bars seems like a horrible idea.

  • Syracuse Photojournalist

    Aren’t UCF students considered responsible adults? Then hold them accountable. The only parameter that means anything should be “would the downtown campus enhance learning?”.