U. of Central Florida Medical School Opens, With Floridians Hoping for Economic Boon
The University of Central Florida celebrated the opening of its medical college with the enrollment of 40 students, who will have all four years of their studies covered by scholarships.
But real work is just beginning on the sprawling, $2-billion complex that will house the medical school. The project is generating construction jobs in a state that faces serious economic problems, and residents of the surrounding Orlando area hope the complex will generate jobs for decades to come.
The Burnham Institute for Medical Research, based in California, has opened an $80-million facility on the campus. The University of Central Florida's $100-million biomedical research unit will open next month on the grounds. An article in The Orlando Sentinel says that work has also begun on a children's hospital, and that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will award a contract on a new VA medical center.
"But the 700-acre biomed project is as much about the future as it is the present. Thousands of empty acres surround the nascent complex—plenty of room for residential, retail and office development," the newspaper says. "Organizers hope it becomes an economic dynamo, generating billions of dollars in activity, tens of thousands of jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue for Florida. Such a bonanza is quite possible within 10 years, according to a study commissioned by UCF earlier this year and conducted by Tallahassee-based Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics."