University of Central Florida President John Hitt made it official Tuesday, announcing to community and business leaders that UCF will push to build a campus in downtown Orlando that could ultimately cost as much as $200 million.
UCF has been studying the idea of a downtown campus at the Creative Village — where the city’s old NBA arena used to sit — since visiting Arizona State University’s campus in downtown Phoenix in January.
The fact that UCF is considering growing in downtown is an absolute game-changer for our urban core.
– Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Hitt said the university expects to seek $50 million to $60 million in state money during the Legislature’s upcoming spring session. That would fund, in part, the campus’s first building: a joint-use facility for UCF and Valencia College.
“It depends on how far we go what the overall price tag will be,” Hitt said. “I think we’re looking at $150 million to $200 million, but over a period of years. That’s always speculative. If we were to have another budget problem, an economic downturn, that could delay it.”