In August of 2009, the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College opened the University Center, a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly building that the schools share with Valencia’s West Campus. The center includes three-stories and 100,000 square feet which house classes for both UCF and Valencia. Additionally, the Center offers more than 40 classrooms, a testing center, computer labs, study rooms, faculty offices, and a cafe, according to an October 2009 UCF Today article. As the community partnership with UCF and Valencia expands with the Direct Connect to UCF program, which nearly 38,000 students have enrolled in since the program started in 2006, the new University Center building enables UCF to offer more classes and programs to other parts of the Orlando area, which in turn expands the availability of bachelor degrees.
UCF building goals for the new millennia include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The new University Center was granted this certification for fulfilling the requirements; the building itself has lights, windows, roof and wall simulation with an air conditioning system which is energy efficient, solar panels on the roof that provide for 10 percent of the electricity, classroom lights that automatically adjust with sensors, faucets that use 75 percent less water and save a half-gallon of water with each use, and lastly, more than 600,000 pounds of the construction waste was recycled instead of being sent to a landfill.