Mayor celebrates passage of funding for UF campus in Downtown Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Fl — The morning after Jacksonville City Council passed a three-year, $50 million spending plan for a UF campus in Downtown, Mayor Lenny Curry hailed the decision and outlined the next critical steps in what he calls a fundamental change for the City.

“Mayo coming here obviously changed Jacksonville. The Jaguars coming here change Jacksonville. This will fundamentally change our city in many ways.”, Curry said during a live interview on Jacksonville’s Morning News.

Under terms of the agreement, taxpayer dollars will serve as reimbursement to UF. Tuesday’s City Council vote was 16-1 with Council Member Al Ferraro voting no.

LISTEN: Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Jacksonville’s Morning News

“The University of Florida will have state dollars that they will spend and they will have private donor dollars. So the private sector will be putting money in. So for every dollar they spend, they then submit and then the city reimburses them half of that.”, Curry said.

The graduate campus announcement was unveiled in February with much fanfare but few specific details. At the time, Curry said it would cement Jacksonville’s legacy as a hub for technology and innovation.

When pressed for a specific location, Curry said there are multiple options under consideration based on acreage. He said UF has to ‘run its process’, which is likely to take multiple months.

“It will be a joint decision but we’re gonna let them run their process and then they’ll make a recommendation where it wants to go. If it’s in the Downtown core as we’ve all agreed then we’ll agree to it and move.”, Curry said.

The immediate next step is a $50 million bill in the Florida Legislature during this legislative session. If the bill passes, a site selection would likely come by summer as UF continues to raise private donor dollars.

Curry says it is possible there will be temporary space to get classes started before groundbreaking and construction begins, which he says is probably a year or a year-and-a-half away.

Rich Jones

Rich Jones

Rich Jones is the Host of Jacksonville’s Morning News. Rich joined WOKV in October 2006. Rich is involved in many community organizations and causes. Rich and his wife, Noelle, have three children: Avery, Harper and Austen.

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