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UCF Downtown Receives $15 Million In State Funds

Photo: UCF
Photo: UCF

UCF officials say their downtown campus is still on track, despite receiving only a quarter of the money it asked for from the state legislature.

In a late night budget deal Monday, Florida lawmakers set aside $15 million for the development of UCF Downtown.

It’s far from the almost 60-million UCF requested, but University spokesperson Grant Heston says the money is a step in the right direction.

"And that’s about where we want to be which is the ability to continue to move forward with the project in a way in which we really think is going to change things for students, faculty and the downtown area," says Heston.

The first phase of UCF Downtown is expected to cost $135 million dollars and open in the fall of 2017.

Heston remains optimistic that the funding will come. "The way these processes work is typically funds are appropriated over multiple years, so we view the $15 million as a great start and a sign that the legislature believes in what we’re trying to do downtown."

The city of Orlando pitched in about $20 million of land and infrastructure to the project.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."