Take it Back
High crime, blight, decay, crushing poverty and lack of basic resources plagued the neighborhood surrounding the University of South Florida's Tampa campus. This suburban community, unfortunately dubbed "Suitcase City", resembled what is usually found in a depressed, urban inner city area.
Groups of citizens troubled by the ever-worsening condition longed for revitalization. Yet hope was as scarce as gang graffiti was prevalent - and the community stood apart -unorganized and ineffective.
Then, in 1990, things began to improve. Believing there was strength in unity, eight area community groups merged to form the USF Are Community Civic Association, Inc. (USFACCA). Working with local state and federal government to restore hope and improve the community, the resulting University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc. (UACDC) was created to acquire resources and provide support for revitalization and permanent sustainability.
1998 The transformation begins: University Area Community Development Corporation founded as a 501(C)(3) to address severe economic and social concerns of the University Area
1999 University Area Mass Transit Center opened and now provides bus service to
hundreds of people daily
2000 University Area Community Center Complex (UACCC) completed, a 50,000 square
foot multi-purpose facility and focal point of the neighborhood that provides critical services to thousands of residents; features classrooms, multi-purpose community room, performance stage, music, art and dance studios, fitness center, gymnasium and playground
2001 Prodigy program developed to improve and transform the lives of at-risk youth by teaching core self-regulation skills, anger management, problem solving and communication through self-expression of cultural art programming.
2003 Muller Elementary Magnet School opened, now serving students focused on environmental studies and visual, performing and communication arts; UACDC awards scholarships to deserving students
2004 Bowers Whitley Career Center High School opened giving at-risk students the skills and certifications to pursue careers right out of high school with one of the county's highest graduation rate; education takes place inside and outside the classroom with additional programs sponsored by UACDC
2005 University Area Business Association launched with more than 50 new members coordinated to enhance and strengthen the activities of area businesses to foster a mutually beneficial presence in the community
Coordinated Community Anti-Crime Initiative established to improve the quality of life in community neighborhoods through a coordinated community effort that engages concerned residents, merchants and other stakeholders
Health Clinic and Social Services Center dedicated serving 6,000 resident annually who would otherwise be deprived of criticial medical care
2006 Prodigy program expanded throughout West Central Florida to serve nearly 4,000 at-risk youth in seven counties; among the best performing diversion programs with a non-recidivism rate that averaged 89%
Junior Achievement Center opened with 12,000 fifth grade students visiting BizTown each
year to role play in workplace environments
2007 UACDC Classroom Annex dedicated providing additional space for the Prodigy program, computer lab and training room
Construction improvement began on North 22nd Street to enhance street lighting, improve pedestrian safety and sidewalks, streetscapes and roadway improvements
2008 Affordable Housing program launched providing homes for 96 families incorporating stable housing as an essential community development tool
2010 Strategies for "Safe and Sustainable Communities" symposiums and workshops conducted statewide education over 300 attendees about community safety initiatives
2011 UACDC named "Nonprofit of the Year"by Tampa Bay Business Journal in the Public and Societal benefit category
Toys for Tots and Toys for Kids distributed toys to 10,000 children during the holiday season
Mueller Elementary Magnet School receives 2011 National Excellence in EducationAward