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Monday, May 27, 2024

UF plans to build a 65,000-square-foot building in the next 18 months at the Eastside Campus to create more office space. The project's estimated budget is $15 million.

Ed Poppell, UF vice president of business affairs, said the university wants to move administrative offices to the Eastside Campus on Northeast Waldo Road to make more space on the main campus.

"It will free up parking and free up some congestion problems, which are a huge problem now," Poppell said.

The Board of Trustees, UF's highest governing body, and the Florida Board of Governors, the governing body of the state's 11 public universities, approved the plan, but UF needs permission from the Legislature to start the project.

If approved, construction would begin at the end of 2008 and the building would open in 2009.

UF would borrow money from the UF Foundation to complete the project. The UF Foundation is the university's fundraising organization and would borrow the money from a bank, said Steve Orlando, UF spokesman.

The new building is expected to generate its own money once built. Poppell said it would stimulate economic and community growth in the area along Waldo Road.

Orlando said despite the university's ongoing budget problems, UF still needs these facilities.

"It's part of a long-range vision for establishing our presence over there and making it grow," he said. "You have to plan for the future."

The Eastside Campus was home to the Florida Department of Transportation until 2003. The 12-acre site now houses offices for several UF departments, including the Office of Information Technology.

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