In Orlando, we’re not afraid to dream big. But, we don’t just dream. We partner with other jurisdictions, the private sector, our residents and our educational partners to fulfill our shared vision for the future of our community. Our successful partnerships have brought us amenities like SunRail, Medical City and our Community Venues.
For the past two years, the City of Orlando has been working with the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Valencia College on plans for a shared campus at Downtown Orlando’s Creative Village, a project that will be of equal benefit to our region as the others already mentioned.
There are a number of approvals needed from the State University System’s Board of Governors, the state legislature and the Governor before we can proceed with our plans for this project which will benefit our region and the state. On Monday, the City Council will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is an important step in gaining these approvals. The MOU outlines the City’s commitment to the campus including providing land, construction of roadways and other infrastructure improvements.
I have been asked why the UCF/Valencia Downtown campus is so important to the City. While the list of reasons may be too long to cite, I’d like to share a few with you:
- The campus would create 2,000 new direct and indirect jobs for our residents and have a $205 million impact on our economy each year
- Graduates will be primed to obtain a high paying job as the average annual wages for graduates of programs slated for Downtown are often double and sometimes triple the average annual wage
- The project would serve as a catalyst for development at the rest of the 68-acre Creative Village site and further our revitalization efforts in Downtown and Parramore
- The project would provide educational opportunity to some of our underserved residents as both the 32801 and 32805 zip codes lag behind the City and county in college attainment
- This campus will help us fill workforce needs in Orlando and the state of Florida and attract new companies and young talented workers who want to be near the university and in a highly-desirable urban environment
The City has a long history of successful partnerships with UCF and Valencia College. I am proud to work alongside our City Council members, President Hitt and President Shugart as we continue getting the necessary approvals and garnering private sector funding to advance our shared vision for the UCF/Valencia Downtown campus.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor