There’s been a lot of questions surrounding the proposed downtown campus, and officials at the University of Central Florida attempted to answer some an open forum Wednesday afternoon.
UCF was given the green light for the project from the Florida Board of Governors last month. They gave the okay for $2.77 million from the Legislature to allow UCF to continue planning the campus.
Paul Lartonoix, assistant vice provost, and Fred Kittinger, associate vice president for university relations gave an update:
– UCF is looking into having Google buses, with Wi-Fi in bus, for students to be able to work on projects during their commute.
– The programs moving downtown will be finalized later this spring. For now the potential programs include: Visual Arts/Digital Media & Studio Arts, Health and Public Affairs, WUCF Public TV & Radio, and the Nicholson School of Communication.
– There is the possibility of intramural sports, a recreation and wellness center, and the Burnett Honors College at the downtown campus.
– UCF is projecting to begin the master planning concept with architects this summer, start construction of Phase I and II in July 2016 for the anticipated opening of July 2017.
Students raised concerns of a disconnect between the two campuses. A major part of the undergraduate experience is football season, which student who are downtown would need to then commute to. According to Lartonoix, it will be beneficial in the sense that students are commuting back to main campus and everything will be going back to UCF’s main hub.
As for the Greek community, that remains to be seen. So far, that has not been a major part of the planning process for the downtown campus.
“We don’t have a Greek section on the map but I guess we’ll have to figure that out,” Lartonoix said.
Another topic that was raised was Student Government’s role and presence downtown. Kittinger said that at Arizona State, that has a successful downtown campus, student government leaders are selected for each branch campus but that SGA would need to decide what model would be best for our community.
Christine Dellert, senior director of internal communications at UCF, said that university officials and community partners are meeting weekly to continue the planning process, despite state funding not being guaranteed yet.