University officials say now is the time to begin a project they’ve been eyeing for many years.

Robert Le is from Boston, but chose UCF for medical school over other medical schools closer to home.

“I came to UCF because I saw that UCF had a lot of opportunities, a lot of room to grow,” said Le.

Le, a second-year medical school student, says he and other medical school students were happy to hear the news.

“It’s definitely an exciting prospect for a lot of the students here,” said Le.

UCF bought 25 acres directly across from its medical school six years ago with a teaching hospital in mind.

“As a medical school we have an education program, and we have research, but we don’t have clinical entity in which to perform and test that research,” said Dr. Deb German, Dean of the UCF College of Medicine.

UCF is now seeking a partner to build the university-based teaching hospital. The proposal will be open to local, state and even national health care institutions.

The medical school’s dean hopes the new hospital will stop patients needing cutting-edge treatment from having to go to other research hospitals across the country.

“They go there to see physicians that on the faculty of a medical school working at a university teaching hospital that is research-based,” said Dr. German.

“That is what we want to build here.”

The university won’t seek state funding. It hopes the health care institution that comes forward to partner with the university will pay for most – if not all of the cost for the project.

Robert Le is excited about what the hospital could mean for his learning, and his future.

“A lot of what we learn in the school is the basic foundation, but you only really learn about what it is to be a doctor when you’re at the bedside, when you’re next to the patients,” said Le.

There’s not an exact timeline for the new hospital, but UCF officials say they hope to get the project going in the next two years.