InterAmerican University moving forward on Orlando campus
ORLANDO, FL. — The InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico’s plans to have a new bilingual campus in Lake Nona is becoming a reality, after the Orange County government gave its approval for its construction at the end of last year.
Orange County District 4 Commissioner Maribel Gómez-Cordero told News is My Business that she presented the motion to the Orange County Board of Commissioners meeting and it was approved unanimously.
“It’s very important. The vote was unanimous. I presented the motion because it’s my district where the campus is going to be build. This is going to benefit everybody, bringing more opportunities to local and international students, and professionals,” said Gómez-Cordero, who is from Puerto Rico and knows about the legacy of the University founded in 1912 in Puerto Rico.
Gómez-Cordero stressed the great location the campus has in Lake Nona area, close to the Medical City and others educational institutions in the zone, as “the university is known for its nursing school and it will be the first course to open here. It’s great because we have Nemours Hospital, Veterans Hospital and its close to the Medical City.”
Tavistock, a development company in Lake Nona working in the project, confirmed to this media outlet that the InterAmerican University is still finalizing its drawings, so they are going to wait to select a general contractor until they are complete and ready to bid out.
Tavistock hopes to submit permit applications in Spring 2021 and then begin construction. They plan to have, at a minimum, the nursing school open by September 2022, representatives said.
The campus is located in Lake Nona in southeast Orange County, near a cluster of the region’s top higher education institutions including the University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and Valencia College. The site is also next to a 55-acre parcel owned by Orange County Public Schools.
The location provides easy access for students and faculty from both Orange and Osceola Counties with connections to SR-417 and proximity to Orlando International Airport. There will be one entrance located off of J. Lawson Blvd.
The proposed campus will sit on 17 acres of land with plans for 187,000 square feet of academic and administrative buildings as well as on-site student housing (192 student beds). The college plans to have 2,000 students, in-person and online by year five.
The InterAmerican University currently operates a small educational facility in Hunter’s Creek that primarily serves online students. With the new campus, the college will be able to expand undergraduate and graduate programming to include new areas of study (such as nursing, behavioral psychology, and computer science) enhanced by proximity to Lake Nona Medical City and access Lake Nona’s emerging technology and 5G network.
The new campus would create nearly 100 new jobs for full-time and part-time administrative and facility positions.
Luis Sánchez, executive director of Centros de Estudios Cibernéticos at InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico in Orlando, did not respond to a request for an interview.