UCF is 15 million steps closer to its much-anticipated downtown campus. However, that's about 43 million steps away from the university's state-funding goal.
After a late-night session in Tallahassee, leaders of the Florida Legislature allocated $15 million of the requested $58 million for its downtown campus.
"This has been a challenging legislative session for lawmakers, but I think UCF fared very well in the session," said Christine Dellert, UCF's senior director for internal communications. "This $15 million is a wonderful start. It's going to allow us to continue our planning. This is a project that we know is going to be transformative for not just UCF, but for all of Orlando. So we're really excited about continuing to move forward with the downtown campus."
The nearly $80 billion state budget was a little kinder to the University of South Florida. It included $29 million for two major construction projects and rejected a third, the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday.
"In an avalanche of spending deals ratified shortly before midnight, lawmakers agreed to give $17 million to USF to move the Morsani College of Medicine to a new downtown Tampa location and to contribute $12.3 million to USF St. Petersburg's College of Business," the Tampa Bay Times reported.
In addition to partial funding for UCF's downtown campus, Dellert said UCF was also allocated $10 million for the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research in Osceola County, $20 million for the Partnership IV building on Research Park and additional performance-funding dollars from the Board of Governors.
The budget is now available to lawmakers, but a final vote will not be taken until Friday.
After the budget is published, there is a 72-hour waiting period, where the legislature is then able to vote on it. From there, Dellert said the budget will be brought to the governor's office for approval, where Gov. Rick Scott will make the final decision.
Rachel Stuart is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.