Today the University of Central Florida broke ground for the 148,000-square-foot Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, a building that will establish a physical identity for a new campus with two cream-colored concrete wings—each with double-height “collaboratory” common spaces—connected by a glassy bridge accommodating a computer lab and student tutoring spaces. Together with renovations to the existing home of the Center for Emerging Media, the Phillips Commons will constitute the first phase of construction in Orlando's Creative Village Redevelopment District, which builds on the success of Orlando's digital media industry with 68-acres of mixed-use development that will bring a diverse range of companies, students, and residents to the historically underserved Parramore neighborhood. UCF will share the Dr. Phillips Academic Commons with Valencia College.
“This innovative campus will offer a bold new avenue for uplifting lives and livelihoods of students from the Parramore community, from Central Florida, and from throughout our Sunshine State,” UCF President John C. Hitt said. “It will provide area employers with talent that will invigorate and reshape the workplaces of tomorrow. And it will energize the rising downtown of the No. 1 tourist-destination city in America. With today’s groundbreaking, we begin a future of greater prosperity in Central Florida.”
"The real measure of a college or a university isn't defined by its buildings, but how well it serves those within them," said Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President, "We're determined to make a difference in the life of this community."
"Having students downtown will provide the surrounding community with a wonderful example of hope through education," Dr. Phillips Charities president and CEO Kenneth Robinson said. “For us, it was important to show UCF, the City of Orlando and the State of Florida our commitment and the importance of this project.” Dr. Phillips Charities provided the lead gift for the new building.
RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern
, Graham S. Wyatt
, and Melissa DelVecchio
lead the design effort. SchenkelShultz Architecture serves as architect of record.