Costly renovations, construction keep UCF growing
Growing and changing at a rapid pace, UCF has been making adjustments to campus, and currently has a number of construction projects and renovations tucked under its belt for the present and near future.
Colbourn Hall and Trevor Colbourn Hall
Colbourn Hall is more than 40 years old, making it one of the oldest buildings on campus. But with age comes required care. In addition to problems with water infiltration and flooding on the exterior balconies, the building has issues with its air conditioning, plumbing and electrical units.
The building, which houses the departments of English, Literature, History, Writing and Rhetoric and a number of other arts and humanities departments, is in need of being completely gutted and renovated.
“The mechanical systems in the building are at the end of their useful lives. That’s the HVAC, plumbing and electric systems, which break down frequently and are so old it’s sometimes hard to find replacement parts,” said UCF spokesman Mark Schlueb. “The building itself has other problems, but none that can’t be solved with an extensive renovation, which would be cheaper than an entirely new building.”
With that being said, there are plans to build Trevor Colbourn Hall, a new 79,000-square-foot building that will stand adjacent to the old building. Construction is slated to start in September 2016 and be completed around March 2018.
“Colbourn Hall was built more than 40 years ago, and as you know, we’re growing every year,” Schlueb said. “UCF needs the space in both Colbourn Hall and the new Trevor Colbourn Hall so it can be on the best footing as we look to the future.”
When Trevor Colbourn Hall is finished, faculty and staff will have a year and a half to move out of Colbourn Hall and into the new building. Renovations will take place in Colbourn Hall for an estimated 14 months. Together, the two buildings form a combined cost of $38 million.
John T. Washington Center
As many students have already discovered, the black picnic benches outside Chick-fil-A in the John T. Washington Center have been replaced with large outdoor couches.
“It’s all for the students,” said Peggy Howse, business services director. “We’re trying to create a fun space for them to sit outside and lounge.”
Business Services has plans to make more additions to the stress-free zone, with the inclusion of fans and TVs. The fans are likely to be added by the end of the fall semester.
Parking Garage C
Due to the fact that current construction of the Global UCF building has taken over what used to be a parking lot, 600 new spaces will be added to the east side of Garage C — almost a 50-percent increase to the current 1,290 spaces.
The expansion will occur on all four levels of the garage, which is near the CREOL and Engineering buildings. Construction is expected to start this November and be completed by July 2016, making for an estimated cost of $9 million.
Interdisciplinary Research and Incubator
UCF currently rents lab space off campus in Research Park, but there are plans for a new Interdisciplinary Research and Incubator building that will consist of conference rooms, offices and 31 science labs.
Schlueb said this project will allow research to come back to the core of campus, as the building would go atop a portion of parking lot C1, next to the CREOL building.
“We need more lab space because more research is being done,” he said.
The labs will be used by faculty and graduate students across various fields of work, and bringing them all together in one building will lead to a collaborative environment for possible discoveries and breakthroughs.
Construction is set to happen in two phases: The first entails the 67,000-square-foot assembly of a three-story building. Plans to start construction are set for January 2016, and are slated to finish mid-2017. Construction is estimated to cost $30 million.
During the second phase, an additional 39,000 square feet will be added. The cost will be about $16.6 million, but there is no estimated start or completion date yet.
Kristen Fiore is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.