As faculty, staff and students head back to school on Monday, Aug. 24, they will be met by a number of construction projects aimed at enhancing their educational experience.
Among much-anticipated projects: more parking, expansion of the Health Center and other projects on the main campus.
Garage C Expansion
Work is expected to begin this fall on the expansion of Garage C along Gemini Boulevard East. Students will get about 600 more parking spaces once the project is complete in 2016. Spaces will be added to the east side of the current garage.
UCF Health Center Expansion
The UCF Health Center is growing by another 10,000 square feet to better serve students. Construction is scheduled to start this month.
The Health Center provides primary care, dental, specialty care, and houses a pharmacy. The extra space, which includes a two-story addition, will be home to new psychiatric and substance-abuse services. The center will also implement dietitian services, along with massage and acupuncture, to provide a holistic, mental well-being experience, said Dr. Michael Deichen, the center’s director.
With UCF’s growing number of international students, the health center will also gain an international health sector that will include a travel clinic. This addition will better accommodate students who have trouble obtaining the proper medical treatment and services because of language and cultural barriers. The travel clinic will also provide resources and services to UCF students traveling abroad.
“Students will have access to the most ideal health services,” Deichen said. “Allowing them to be the best students possible.”
The project is scheduled to be complete by March.
Carl Black & Gold Cabana
The much-anticipated Carl Black & Gold Cabana at Bright House Network Stadium with its beach theme has been under construction all summer. The new seating area is projected to be ready for the home opener on Sept. 3.
The 10,000-square-foot beach/tiki-themed deck and nearly 900-seat section is sponsored by the Carl Black Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership in Orlando.
Patrons in the new seating area will have access to sideline chairback seats, enhanced Wi-Fi access, private restrooms, flat-screen televisions, an open-air sundeck, and a covered lounge that will have extended pre- and-post-game hours.
Wayne Densch Student-Athlete Leadership Center
Much progress has been made on the Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership adjacent to Bright House Networks Stadium this summer. The center will serve as a home for personal, professional and academic development for student-athletes. The center will house the Student-Athlete Leadership Institute, academic services for student-athletes, student services and compliance departments, and more.
“Virtually all of our off-the-field programming to prepare student-athletes for life after college, as well as tutoring and study halls, will be held in the building,” said Andy Seeley, assistant athletics communication director.
Crews are working on the center’s interior construction and it should be completed by the start of Spring 2016 term.
Libra Drive Expansion
One roadway project that just began this summer is the Libra Drive expansion that will widen the road from two to four lanes and elevate low areas to eliminate occasional flooding. The project should be finished by March, barring unexpected delays.
Crews have been installing pipes and getting other infrastructure ready for the widening.
Drivers are urged to use caution in the area, especially during the busy start of the semester. The speed limit along the mile-long section of road has been reduced to 20 mph to accommodate the construction, and drivers are encouraged to find alternative routes, if possible.