Construction at Downtown Campus’ UnionWest still ongoing


The Downtown Campus shared between Valencia College and UCF opened the Fall of 2019.

Annalyn Caputo, Social Media Editor

Weeks after UCF and Valencia students have moved into the UnionWest student residency for the Downtown Campus in Orlando’s Creative Village, it seems to some that there is still construction left to be done.

For Valencia Student Alex Traynham, the first impression of his new first home was that it was great but definitely unfinished.

Traynham said he felt, “bittersweet – somewhat ripped off,” in regards to UnionWest.

Traynham explained how he feels that UnionWest, and the campus in general, seem to be in its “beta stages.” Although Traynham doesn’t feel like the plans were completely thought out, he does consider the difficulty of combining the two colleges. 

Cami Hoo, 18, has just begun her first year of college at Valencia. She was excited to move into a brand-new building and experience all the amenities it has to offer. Her excitement has led to a carton of eggs sitting in her mini-fridge because the communal stoves don’t work yet.

 Although she finds UnionWest beautiful, Hoo says there are a lot of small things that still need to be finished. 

“They’re always working,” Hoo said.  “But if you want to get this place up and running in the next few months, I think it is necessary.” 

 Hoo and her roommate Veliska Manukian, 19, are ready for more food options to be open. They were originally told that after the first week of classes on-campus food retailers would be open. These options have yet to become available; however, hope is visible in the form of a Dunkin’ Donuts sign peeking around construction equipment. 

The building is currently housing students under a temporary certificate of occupancy while construction is completed; however, all critical areas are finished. 

The stoves are delayed until the Orlando building inspectors can issue final approval.

“Safety and wellbeing is the top priority,” Rachel Williams, UCF’s Media Relations Coordinator, said, “which is why residents were asked to temporarily not use the ovens and stovetops – to ensure that the community kitchens met all safety requirements.”

Williams also noted, “according to the owners of UnionWest, outfitting of the food retailers on the first floor of UnionWest is underway, with an anticipated opening of Dunkin’ in the coming weeks and Subway in mid-to-late October.”