The UCF Marching Knights have a new home on the south side of campus following Saturday’s opening of a 3,500-square-foot building for offices and instrument storage. The facility is a welcome change for the 325-member band, which previously operated out of a trailer.

The building is the first phase in a planned complex that eventually will include covered and outdoor practice fields. The facilities will allow practice regardless of weather.

President John C. Hitt and Jeff Moore, dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, welcomed band members, alumni, donors and other guests to the ribbon cutting, and alumnus Bryan Cole recounted the beginnings of the band.

“This building has been a long time coming and is so well deserved,” said Moore. “The Marching Knights have a rich history and many people helped us get to where we are today. If scale times excellence equals impact, the bands are making an enormous impact.”

Second-year band director Tremon Kizer, an assistant professor of music, said he looks forward to using the new building.

“The facility will help recruit new students, maintain healthy enrollment, keep students safe, protect the band equipment, and foster an ongoing relationship with the UCF community as a whole,” he said. “With every community that has a college, you hope it has the hometown marching band, and whoever watches the band should walk away feeling energized, motivated and excited to come back to more events.”

Marching Knights band member and mechanical engineering major Sarah Spielman said the new building provides a place of unity and belonging.

“We are the largest and one of the most visible student organizations, and we represent students from over 80 majors,” she said. “Marching Knights foster a sense of family for active members and alumni, and the band building will give us all a permanent home at UCF.”

The Marching Knights have been boosting spirit in the UCF community since 1980. The members hope to take that same enthusiasm nationwide through a new collaboration with several other marching bands to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.