UCF’s fastest-growing regional campus – at a joint-use facility with Valencia College’s branch in Osceola County – will move into a new home when the next semester begins Jan. 2.

The new 150,000-square-foot building will be the biggest on any of Valencia’s five campuses, and 29,000 square feet of that will be classrooms and offices for UCF. Also to be housed in the building at 1800 Denn John Lane are Valencia’s new library, cafeteria, tutoring center and laboratories.

“We now have more space, services and academic offerings for our UCF Valencia Osceola students who prefer staying in their community at a reasonable cost,” said Angela Peterson, UCF’s associate vice president for enrollment services, marketing and outreach.

“It is our hope and direction to provide a pathway for students to attend college and improve the college-going rate in a county that is demographically very different from Orange, Brevard or Seminole.”

Higher-education opportunities are important in Osceola County, she said, because the area has many first-generation college students.

A variety of classes at the campus now ranges from business to political science. For the spring semester, new classes will include public administration, psychology, elementary education, and criminal justice.

Pending budgetary approval, plans include expanding academic programming next fall. The new four-story building initially will house five UCF faculty members and seven staffers. At full capacity, there will be 12 faculty members and 12 staffers at the campus.

The plans call for offering biomedical sciences at the campus beginning next fall, which would be the first science degree at a UCF regional campus.

Dr. Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola and Lake Nona campuses, said she is especially pleased that UCF will offer the biomedical sciences degree.

“It’s the perfect degree for a student who wants to go on to medical school,” she said. UCF’s College of Medicine is part of the growing medical community in Lake Nona.

Through the DirectConnect to UCF program, students who graduate with A.A. or A.S. degrees from Valencia are guaranteed admission to the university.

UCF is the first public university to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Osceola County.