The University of Central Florida is finalizing construction plans for the first phase of a new building for its Marching Knights band, and should open general contractor bidding later this year.
UCF's current marching band has more than 300 students, while the band program itself serves roughly 400 students. That's up from 200 students in 2007, with the band growing steadily during the past eight years to its current size.
The marching band operates today out of a portable building that also serves as a storage facility, which isn't large enough for full rehearsals, said Gene Kruckemyer, university spokesman.
When UCF was recently re-accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (accredited since 1981), the self-study that accompanies the process highlighted a need to improve the band facilities.
The College of Arts & Humanities, School of Performing Arts, and Academic Affairs identified funding to put toward the project, resulting in a three-phase plan, Kruckemyer said.
UCF filed a modification request on May 23 with the St. Johns River Water Management District to add a band building to its existing master stormwater plan.
To be located on 0.99 acres in the southeast corner of RWC Park, the proposed project area will include the construction of 0.45 acres of new impervious area, resulting in 1.55 acres of remaining allowable impervious area.
This upcoming Phase 1 of the plan will include a new outdoor covered area, much larger storage space and closer access to the practice field, Kruckemyer said. When all phases are complete, there will be an indoor space for seated rehearsal and a lighted practice field.