UConn is on the move this week, literally as well as figuratively. Wednesday will see the ribbon cutting for the new Hartford campus, which is relocating from its suburban campus in West Hartford after nearly five decades away from the Capital City. And in Stamford, students will be moving into student housing beginning this weekend, the first time that has been possible.
In Hartford, the university intends to “interweave top-tier academic programs with the vitality and unique educational and service opportunities offered by Connecticut’s capital city.” The campus – at a cost of $140 million – is anchored by the historic former Hartford Times building as part of a neighborhood campus that includes nearby cultural institutions and state and city government offices, including Hartford Public Library, which will house 12,000 square feet of UConn classrooms, a library collection, and study areas.
The campus will be the home for the university’s Department of Public Policy, Urban and Community Studies Program, Cooperative Extension System, and the Connecticut State Historian. A new Barnes & Noble bookstore is also coming downtown as part of the new campus.
UConn is also touting the demographics of the student population: 47 percent minority students, and a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. It anticipates 1,347 undergraduates and 1,602 graduate students downtown, at the undergraduate campus, School of Social Work and business school, which has been downtown for more than a decade. A year ago, the Board of Trustees voted to extend the Graduate Business Learning Center’s (GBLC) lease at 100 Constitution Plaza, and to add two additional floors to the existing space, allocating a total of six floors of classroom, meeting and office space.
The UConn School of Social Work is moving from West Hartford down the block from the new undergraduate building, to 38 Prospect Street, directly across from the Wadsworth Atheneum. And, it was announced earlier this month, regular bus service between Storrs and Hartford is getting underway, free of charge to students. There will also be a shuttle bus running a loop downtown, and although there is no designated student parking, officials say the number of available spaces in nearby lots should be more than sufficient.
Meanwhile, at UConn’s Stamford campus, the inaugural move-in weekend is scheduled for August 26th and 27th, as the campus offers student housing for the first time. The student dorm, at 900 Washington Boulevard, is 2 blocks south of the UConn Stamford campus and halfway between the main campus building and the Stamford Transportation Center.
The building is six stories tall and will have 116 apartment units. the school’s website explains. The maximum occupancy of the building is approximately 350 students, but because some of the bedrooms will be single occupancy, the target occupancy is 290 students. Plans call for 100 designated parking spaces for students will be available for a small additional charge.
The residence hall also includes an 80-person meeting room, administrative offices and a lobby on the first floor. Each floor has a study lounge, and the second floor has a large community center in which students can congregate and have events. The University will manage Stamford housing as in Storrs, with an on-site Resident Director and on-floor Resident Assistants.
The current UConn Stamford academic campus, at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Broad Street in downtown Stamford, opened in 1998, although courses had previously been offered in the city. The facility also provides current UConn students, faculty and staff access the on-site Fitness Center free of charge.
In addition to the main campus in Storrs, UConn also has a presence in Waterbury and Avery Point, as well as the School of Law in Hartford’s west end and the Health Center in Farmington. The former UConn Torrington campus closed a year ago, due to “declining interest among students, falling enrollment, a limited faculty, and changing regional demographics,” according to school officials.