A new partnership building in the Central Florida Research Park will help Metro Orlando keep and add thousands of high-tech, high-wage modeling and simulation jobs and remain a national leader in that expanding industry.
The University of Central Florida and the military will share the Partnership III building, which will be home to UCF Institute for Simulation & Training laboratories and related modeling and simulation research. The UCF facility, scheduled to open in fall 2010, will be built to meet at least the silver level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
UCF President John Hitt will join military and elected officials at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, July 10, at the building site, next to the Partnership II building in the Central Florida Research Park. Guests will arrive at 8:15 a.m., and the program will begin at 8:45 a.m.
Speakers will include state Rep. Dean Cannon, retired state Sen. Dan Webster, Orange County Commissioner Bill Segal and Rear Admiral Donald Gaddis, commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and assistant commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command.
Meg Crofton, vice chairman of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and president of the Walt Disney World Resort, also is scheduled to speak.
Led by Cannon and Webster, state legislators worked hard to fund Partnership III and related enhancements to buildings that house military agencies in the Research Park. The funding enabled the Department of Defense to meet new security requirements for its personnel working in the area.
The Metro Orlando area is a national leader in modeling, simulation and training, with more than 100 companies that directly or indirectly generate nearly 17,000 jobs in the region. New and expanding companies are attracted to Central Florida in part because of the presence of the military and Institute for Simulation & Training.
U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps simulation offices based in the Research Park expect to award more than $5 billion in contracts this year, and much of that money remains in the Metro Orlando area.
The 118,860-square-foot Partnership III building will be constructed next to Partnership II and will be a mirror image of that building, saving the state about $500,000 in design costs.