In the spring of 1980 the University of Central Florida proposed the construction of a new academic building complex to accommodate the rapidly increasing growth. The Center for Business Administration and Engineering building was part of a joint endeavor by the College of Business Administration and College of Engineering. Construction began in 1983 in various phases and was completed by the end of fall semester in 1985. Phase one, commonly known to students as Engineering Building 1 was open for classes September 12, 1986 and the start of the 2nd phase (Engineering Building 2) began in October 1987.
The proposed cost of CEBA I was $21 million. The plans stated that the 80,000 net sq. ft. of CEBA would offer engineering laboratories with faculty and administrative offices for the College of Engineering along with designated sections for joint use between College of Business Administration and College of Engineering. A compiled article from the Future elaborates on the architects for CEBA I and II as being the same firm that designed the Biology Building—McElvy, Jennewein, Stefany & Howard of Tampa Bay, Florida. The goal of each building designer was to maintain the similar brick building concept that had been established at the university when the first building was built in the 1960s. Housed in Engineering Building I are the offices of Advanced Materials Processing & Analysis Center, Advanced Microfabrication Facility, Amateur Radio Club-K4UCF, Engineering Copy Center, Engineering Technology, and Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace. Additionally, Building Administration I, Engineering I and II are all interconnected. Business Administration I and Engineering I share a hallway that provides an area to study. Similarly, Engineering I and II share an atrium that has become an area for groups to gather and study, organizations to advertise, engineering fairs, and a display area for projects. In April 1989, UCF’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers built the World’s Largest Popcorn Popper and Largest Box of Popcorn. It took 18 Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Students 300 hours using parts donated by Gencor Industries, Inc. and popcorn donated by Orville Redenbacker. The box of popcorn was 25 feet wide by 25 feet deep and 10 feet high, equivalent to the size of a 2-car garage according to the FuTUre. Volume of the popcorn box was 6,250 cubic feet; total popping time was 22 hours with approximately eight pounds a minute. The ASME presented their popper at Vanderbilt amongst speeches on laser machining and propulsion.