UCF’s newest building – which is home to more general classrooms and headquarters for the ROTC – will be dedicated during ceremonies Friday, Nov. 8, just in time for Veterans Day. The dedication will be at 4 p.m., followed by tours and refreshments until 5:30 p.m.
The three-story Classroom II along Memory Mall will include high-tech lecture halls and general-purpose teaching areas. For the campus Air Force and Army ROTC programs, they’re looking forward to moving into their part of the building after years of operating out of cramped quarters near the Recreation and Wellness Center. Their facility features a 40-by-40-foot room dubbed the “Virtual Battlelab,” an open area with a variety of computerized simulators for ROTC cadets.
“A permanent home for the ROTC programs has been the vision of university leadership for a very long time,” said Col. Todd M. Freece, Air Force Commander of AFROTC Detachment 159. “We are excited to leave our ‘temporary’ facilities after over a decade and are committed to sustaining a professional officer-training program that reflects the values of UCF and the Armed Forces.”
His counterpart leading the Army ROTC program, Lt. Col. Mario Johnson of the Fighting Knights Battalion, said the location of the new building – along Memory Mall, next to Classroom I and close to the Student Union – is a major thoroughfare for students and will enhance recruiting efforts. The new building also is within walking distance of the Veterans Commemorative Site and the Veterans Academic Resource Center.
Each branch has about 200 students who take specialized training and education programs. UCF became a host campus for Air Force ROTC in 1972 and for the Army ROTC in 1986. The Army ROTC was on the campus earlier, but was supported through the Army ROTC program at Stetson University.
The first floor of the new building will be shared for recruiting, supply and training spaces. The floor also contains “Heritage Hall” – a quiet place to study that will showcase ROTC and military heritage. The other floors will have offices, conference rooms, study areas and storage.
“The new map room and Virtual Battlelab will greatly enhance training when instructors are teaching map reading, land-navigation classes and squad and platoon tactical training,” Johnson said.
Freece said the project also shows a commitment by the university to play a prominent role in developing leaders for the nation’s armed forces.
“When interested students visit the ROTC programs at UCF, they will see a beautiful and modern facility centrally located on the main campus,” he said. “Prospects will see that UCF not only develops new military leaders, but also actively honors their service and supports veterans transitioning to student life.”
The building, designed by Schenkel Shultz Architecture, will be submitted for LEED silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.