Innovative Education in Downtown Orlando
UCF Downtown is a world-class 21st-century campus for digital media, communication, public service, and health-related programs in an innovative, urban environment.
In partnership with Valencia College, the new campus will serve approximately 7,700 students in the heart of downtown Orlando. In addition to academics, UCF Downtown offers students a complete campus experience with student housing, dining, recreation, wellness, volunteer and service opportunities, as well as student clubs and organizations.
Flexible and Technology Enhanced Classrooms
Led by the Office of Instructional Resources, the furniture and technology in downtown campus classrooms will help facilitate active learning. Research supports that active learning strategies improve student learning outcomes.
UCF is moving to a model where all classrooms can better support active learning methods of teaching. Active learning is not a technology, nor a furniture solution. Active learning is a teaching practice facilitated with technology and furniture, but at its core is achieved through the activities practiced in the space by faculty and students.
All of the furniture will be mobile, including the instructor podium, and there is a projector in every room.
The classrooms at UCF Downtown are designed to feel familiar while also encouraging a variety of teaching practices:
All of the furniture will be mobile, including the instructor podium. The in-room computer can be controlled with a wireless mouse and keyboard allowing the faculty member or presenter to be anywhere in the classroom.
An optional wireless collaboration system called Intel Unite will be available at UCF Downtown. The system allows you to bring a personal device (phone, tablet, or laptop) and mirror the desktop to the computer in the room. This means you can have a computer in every class that already has your applications, documents, and other personalization preferences set up the way you want them, every time, every course, every semester.
The multimedia equipment will be smaller and in a corner, out of the way of the students and faculty so that almost the entire room becomes usable floor space for teaching and learning activities.
There will be multiple whiteboards throughout the room.
There is a projector in every room, just as there are in existing classrooms. Some rooms have additional monitors on the other walls that will mirror the content on the projector. No matter how the furniture is arranged or where the student looks they will be able to see the content.
All of the conference rooms will have a large flat-panel monitor and a device on the conference table that will allow for connecting to the display.
All rooms are designed the same way so that no matter who uses the room everyone has a consistent experience across the entire campus.
The downtown campus provides UCF and Valencia College an incredible opportunity to think differently, look at new approaches in the classroom and better support students.
From Concept to Construction
UCF President Emeritus John Hitt announced the university’s decision to establish a downtown Orlando campus during the UCF Focus Breakfast in September 2014.
Since then, the university created the UCF Downtown committees, which spent more than a year exploring everything from student services and educational programs to transportation and facilities. The project was approved by the Florida Board of Governors in 2016, and design and build teams were selected that summer. Construction began in downtown Orlando in Summer 2017. The campus will officially open in Fall 2019, with housing, parking and dedicated transportation to and from UCF’s main campus.
Dr. Phillips Academic Commons
About Dr. Phillips Academic Commons
Dr. Phillips Academic Commons features four stories of active learning spaces, including classrooms, the downtown library, study and tutor spaces, a moot court, and academic offices. The building will be a state-of-the-art learning facility that overlooks Creative Village’s central park, a green space for outdoor concerts and events.
- Architect: Robert AM Stern / SchenkelShultz
- Contractor: Skanska
- Project Cost: $66M
Renderings of Dr. Phillips Academic Commons
UCF Communication and Media Building
About Communication and Media Building
The UCF Communication and Media Building (formerly Center for Emerging Media) is home to the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, the Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology, and Entertainment (CREATE), and other academic and innovative programs. When UCF Downtown opens, CMB will continue to be an academic hub for the campus. Prior to fall 2019, CMB will undergo renovations to reflect 21st-century learning environments and will be the new academic home to students, faculty and staff in the Nicholson School of Communication and Media.
- Architect: Schenkel Schultz Architecture
- Project Cost: $5.75M
UCF Downtown Parking Garage
About the Parking Garage
The 580 space, four-story garage will include license plate recognition technology, security cameras, real-time space counts by floor and electric charging stations. Additionally, the ground floor will house a university store operated by Barnes & Noble, campus services and storage space for campus supplies.
- Architect: Walker Parking Consulting and C.T. Hsu + Associates Architects
- Contractor: PCL Construction
- Project Cost: $14.6M
UCF Downtown Student Housing
About Student Housing
UnionWest at Creative Village is a privately developed, 15-story building that will have more than 600 beds on the top floors. The lower levels will have retail and academic learning space, including Valencia College’s Walt Disney School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality. A parking garage for housing students and visitors to the campus is also attached to the building.
- Architect: Baker Barrios Architects and CannonDesign
- Contractor: Batson-Cook
- Owner: Ustler Development, Inc. and DEVEN