“this building is about dreams”

UniversityCenterRibb3CBFA41Valencia/UCF Partnership Greatly Expands College Opportunity in West Orange County

On October 29, Valencia Community College and the University of Central Florida (UCF) hosted a public ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for their new shared facility, the University Center, located on Valencia’s West Campus on South Kirkman Road.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist welcomed a crowd of several hundred elected officials, dignitaries, college leaders and students, including Orange County Commissioner Bill Segal, Orlando City Council Commissioner Samuel Ings and former Florida senator Daniel Webster.

“This building is about dreams,” Governor Crist said. “It is about the dreams of future engineers, future nurses and future business leaders.”

Valencia President Sanford Shugart credited Senator Webster for having “authored the vision of what the two-plus-two partnership would mean back in the ’90s,” adding, “[he] aligned funding, support and the rationale for this kind of building.”

The $23 million, three-story, 100,000-square-foot building opened for classes in August, welcoming 775 UCF students to Valencia’s campus. The additional space enables UCF to offer complete bachelor’s degrees in nursing, electrical engineering, applied science, business administration, interdisciplinary studies and psychology on Valencia’s West Campus. Valencia’s engineering programs are also housed in the building, including an associate in arts pre-major degree that allows a smooth transfer to UCF and associate in science degrees in electronic engineering and computer engineering. The University Center is expected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the gold level for its environmentally friendly design, construction and energy-saving features. “Green” features include rooftop solar panels along with energy saving lights, air conditioning and insulation that make the building 28 percent more efficient than a conventional building. C.T. Hsu + Associates was the architect for the project. PPI Construction Management Inc. was the builder.

“The opening of this new facility is an opportunity to celebrate a powerful and effective partnership, the long-standing partnership between UCF and Valencia Community College,” said UCF Provost and Executive Vice President Terry Hickey.

UCF has offered courses on Valencia’s West Campus since 2000 and on Valencia’s Osceola Campus since 2001. The new building allows UCF to further expand its offerings on the west side of Orlando, opening up opportunity for many who may not be able to attend classes at the university’s main campus. It also provides familiar ground for Valencia students who transfer to UCF via DirectConnect to UCF, which guarantees Valencia graduates admission to UCF. Valencia students make up the largest number of UCF’s transfer students; one in five UCF graduates are Valencia transfers.

Reprinted from: Valencia Community College press release, Contact: Carol Traynor, Marketing & Media Relations, Orlando, FL, November 3, 2009.

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