With its golden-domed cupola, the Wilbur Cross building is the iconic University facility. All the services students need – including financial aid, housing, and the registrar – can be found in this former library, one of 47 original UConn buildings listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The picturesque rolling peaks of Horsebarn Hill are the centerpiece of UConn’s founding department, the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. You can’t beat the view, and the nearby floriculture greenhouses, animal barns, and famed Dairy Bar are worth a visit.
Collections of original source materials for research, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, comprise the foundation upon which the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center is built. It is home to the University Libraries Archives and Special Collections, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and the Human Rights Institute.
The Student Union is one of the hubs of student activity on campus. Grab a bite to eat at the food court, Chuck & Augie’s restaurant, or the Dairy Bar Too ice cream shop. Take in a flick or performance at the SU Theater. Hit the books in a study lounge, or play games in the game room. UConn’s cultural centers and some of our 600+ student clubs and organizations are based here, too.
UConn is one of our nation’s top public universities, home to the brightest faculty and students who deserve the best spaces in which to live and learn. We are building state-of-the art facilities that foster imagination, cultivate relationships, and advance innovation.
UConn’s strategic Master Plan provides the blueprint for improvements that will allow our flagship University to maintain its world-class status. UCONN 2000, 21st Century UConn, and Next Generation Connecticut, the state’s newest 10-year, $1.5 billion initiative, are transforming our facilities statewide, strengthening our research and education.
The following sampling of projects in planning, design, and construction represent key investments from those initiatives for UConn’s future. For the most up-to-date information on these projects and others, including construction activity maps and quarterly construction reports please visit our website at updc.uconn.edu.
Opening in fall 2017 and the first building in UConn’s Technology Park, this 110,000+ square-foot facility with specialized equipment and instrumentation will serve a nexus of intellectual, physical and cyber assets that is intended to foster University-Industry partnerships for research, innovation technology commercialization and job growth for the State of Connecticut.
Engineering and Science Building
This 115,000-square-foot facility includes state-of-the-art laboratory space for interdisciplinary research, and will accommodate student and faculty growth in fields such as bio-nanoengineering and cyber-physical systems engineering. Construction on the five-story, $95 million building began in June 2015, with completion fall 2017.
The new downtown Hartford campus comprises about 232,000 square feet of learning and community space, including 160,000 square feet in the Hartford Times anchor building, 34,500 square feet at 38 Prospect St., and about 19,200 square feet in the Hartford Public Library. The Times building includes 23 classrooms, staff and faculty offices, three state-of-the-art computer labs, five science labs, meeting and activity space, study areas, conference rooms, and an atrium.
UConn Stamford Residence Hall
This six-story building at 900 Washington Blvd. sits just two blocks south of UConn Stamford and will house almost 300 students annually, operating the same way as the Storrs residence halls, with resident assistants and study lounges. The 116 units comprise 10 studio, 49 one-bedroom, and 57 two-bedroom apartments; 17 top-floor apartments also have lofts. The property includes 100 designated parking spaces for students and full-time security services.
Babbidge Library Renovations – Level 1
An initial step in implementing the master plan for Homer Babbidge Library, Level I underwent major transformation to meet the needs of a 21st century facility. Programmatically, this floor was envisioned as a collaborative space, including multi-micro learning environments with furniture and technology to support collaboration and interactive learning. The scope of work included construction of a Digital Scholarship and Data Curation research area, a Data Visualization Laboratory, a Recording Studio for online classes, and Project Rooms. More specifically, improvements included upgraded finishes and furniture replacement, infrastructure to support contemporary electrical and data needs, and modernization of technology.
Planning began in 2016 and this phase of construction was completed in January 2018.
Wilbur Cross Reading Rooms Renovations
The North and South Reading Rooms in the Wilbur Cross building are original to the 1939 structure located at the center of the historic campus core. The Reading Rooms comprise 4,000 sf and the Great Hall that connects the two rooms comprises 2,000 sf. The South Reading Room is heavily used student study and work space, and the North Reading Room is used for numerous university events year-round, however only minimal investments in these spaces were made over many years.
This project restored and refurbished these sections of the Wilbur Cross building to improve functionality, expand and enhance student study and work space, modernize and improve AV and IT capabilities, as well as address acoustical issues and long-term deferred maintenance needs. The scope of work included refurbished walls and ceilings, lighting and acoustical improvements, the removal of disused materials, and technology/AV improvements. In addition, there were modifications to the mechanical and electrical systems.
Design began in October of 2016 and construction was completed in September 2018.
Central Campus Parking
With development of the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center, the Temporary Administrative Building for ITS and various construction staging needs for other projects complete, the site west of Gampel Pavilion beside Sherman Field required restoration for parking and pedestrian safety. The primary scope of this project was to design and construct a planned parking area consisting of approximately 100 spaces. It is used by permit holders during weekdays and by Athletics during evening and weekend events, and improves pedestrian safety in the area for the 1,000+ students who walk through the space each class day.
Improvements also include accessible spaces, striping, signage, lighting, security cameras, plantings, a stormwater management system and minor infrastructure for potential vehicle charging stations and solar panels in the future. Clear delineation of pedestrian circulation and Gampel’s loading zones, removal of unsafe parking near the natatorium and reorganization of vehicular travel and parking behind the southern end of the fieldhouse was also included. The shotput area was also relocated adjacent to other throwing facilities utilized by our track and field program.
Planning began in April 2017 and construction was completed in September 2018.
Gampel Pavilion Roof Repairs
Opening in 1990, the domed ceiling’s construction was innovative for its time. Over time and as Gampel has aged, the fabric of the ceiling panels has started to tear and flake and the sealant between the panels has started to wear off. The repairs involved included dislodging each panel from the ceiling, lowering it to the ground, replacing the covering and insulation, and then raising it up for reinstallation. On the exterior, the roof was resealed and a new and safer access system was installed for workers to reach the roof when needed. The work will be completed before the start of the 2017-18 basketball season.
UConn Bookstore – Main Campus
The existing bookstore is approximately 41,000 square feet and is in the process of a full renovation to improve the consumer and student experience. A new main entrance from the front patio will connect the new exterior seating area to the interior retail and public spaces. The interior renovations will include a Starbucks café, an Apple and technology store, and The Glossary, a section for cosmetic and beauty products. The 4,000-square-foot public space on the second floor will provide student seating and study areas and can also be used for events. The bookstore will remain open for business. Read more about the UConn Bookstore renovation on UConn Today.
Monteith Building Renovation
This 73,000-square-foot renovation became the new home for the Department of Math in fall 2016. It provided necessary swing space for other academic programs housed in buildings that will be renovated later, such as the Gant Science Complex. With a budget of $25 million, construction began in fall 2015.
Peter J. Werth Residence Tower
A new 212,000-square-foot residential facility opened for the Fall 2016 semester for students participating in one of eight Living & Learning Communities at UConn who are developing skills in innovation and creativity to lead their generation. Construction began in November 2014 with a budget of $105 million.
Putnam Refectory Renovation
The existing 42,000-square-foot dining hall beside the new residence hall recently underwent renovations to improve and increase its seating capacity and self-service buffet areas, making additional room for students who live in the new residence hall nearby. Construction began in September 2015 and completed in Summer 2016.
Student Recreation Center
Slated to open in Fall 2019, this new facility will feature 30,000+ square-feet of fitness activity space, 4 full-size basketball courts, a 2 court MAC gymnasium, an indoor running track, an aquatics center with two pools, 5 multi-purpose fitness studios including a mind body studio and a functional training studio, a wellness center, 3 racquetball courts, a comprehensive adventure center including a climbing wall, and other flexible spaces for students through UConn Recreation’s programs and activities.
Fine Arts Renovations & Production Facility
This project includes a 30,000 square foot addition to the existing Drama/Music/Nafe Katter Theater to serve as a centralized shops and theater production facility. The addition will also provide a critical linkage between Fine Arts buildings that currently do not exist, accessible access to the second floor of the Drama/Music Building and a new entry lobby on the north side of the complex. The project also includes removal and replacement of the exterior glazing systems on the Storrs Road and Bolton Road sides of the building. Design is scheduled for completion in fall 2016 and construction is tentatively set for completion in 2018.
Main Campus Parking Replacements
The planned development on the University’s main campus under the Next Generation Connecticut program is anticipated to result in the loss of approximately 1,000 parking spaces through 2021. The Transportation Circulation & Parking Appendix of the Campus Master Plan 2015-2035 recommended the replacement of these losses with little to no increase in the overall effective parking capacity. The Near-Term Capital Improvement Plan for Parking and Transportation (April 2017) managed by Logistics Administration, supports that strategy and identifies various locations for the replacement of the lost parking inventory.
The scope of this project initially considered three primary components: an elevated deck over existing surface parking in W Lot, a planned surface lot along Discovery Drive on land known as Parcel D, and a connecting transit drive between the two lots. During the planning phase, the project scope was revised to defer the elevated deck and proceed with design of an expanded surface lot on Parcel D consisting of approximately 700 spaces and the connecting drive. The remaining 300 spaces are in design or construction as part of other projects.
Planning began in June 2017 and design was completed one year later. Targeted for completion by May 2019, the lot will also include shuttle stops, sidewalks, accessible spaces, vehicle charging stations, striping, signage, lighting, security cameras, plantings, a stormwater management system and minor infrastructure for potential and solar panels in the future.
The 285,000 gross square foot Gant Science Complex will be renovated to accommodate current and future University needs in response to growing student enrollment in STEM programs. These improvements will include classrooms, lecture halls, teaching and research laboratories, faculty offices and support spaces, and the building’s facades and roofs will be reconstructed to provide a more attractive waterproof skin with better energy performance. The renovations will be phased to provide sequential relocation of building occupants as reconstruction progresses. Design began in Summer 2015 and phased construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2017 and be complete in Summer 2021.
Utility infrastructure is the backbone of campus operations, supporting all buildings, services, and student and faculty needs. These systems represent a significant investment over decades of growth, requiring that future development considers carefully the integrity of existing infrastructure before expansion or repairs are made. UConn has begun planning, design, and construction to improve its utilities, and will continue to do so pragmatically on an annual basis with as little disturbance to campus life as possible.
On the Boards
Athletics District Improvements
The University Athletics District Development project replaces existing outdated facilities with a new stadia for baseball, softball and soccer. The project includes a new Performance Center consisting of new locker rooms, offices, a strength and conditioning equipment space and associated conference and support spaces. Programming, site planning and coordination with a renovation of existing facilities at Freitas and a potential future new ice hockey arena are under review.
The Planning Phase of the University Athletics District Development project is under way and construction is anticipated to start in late fall 2018/winter 2019 and completed in late summer 2020.
The project conforms to Connecticut High Performance Building Code regulations and is registered as a LEED project with a target of LEED-Certified.
Northwest Science Quad
In 2015 the University of Connecticut completed their Campus Master Plan which set forth planning principles to guide future development on campus. Comprehensive in scope, the master plan provides the organizing structure for future campus growth and modernization. This area in the science district is one of the primary components of the master plan and contains the future site of the next new science building. The site assessment will guide that project’s development by determining the site’s capacity while supporting a landscape framework that improves the pedestrian experience and more fully integrates additional future development into the science core and the campus.
Supplemental Utility Plant
As part of the STEM initiative of Next Generation Connecticut capital plan, utility modeling has shown that additional chilled water, steam, and electrical power will be needed to support the development of the Storrs Campus. Currently, the University produces or treats and distributes its own electrical power, steam, chilled water domestic water, reclaimed water, and sanitary waste and has determined that additional loads may best be produced in a new Supplemental Utility Plant in the Northwest section of campus.
The project, currently in planning & design concurrent with STEM Research Center 1, may likely be constructed in two phases. Phase I would include the new Supplemental Utility Plant building, site improvements, chiller(s), emergency generator(s), and steam boiler(s), while Phase II would include installation of potential electrical tri-generation equipment as determined during the design of Phase I.
South Campus Commons
The Campus Master Plan identifies South Campus – roughly between Whitney Road and Bolton Road – as having enormous potential to transform into a robust live/learn neighborhood. This area of campus includes a wide array of uses including residence halls, the School of Fine Arts Complex, a hotel, and various student service buildings.
Modest improvements to an existing open space located between Whitney and Gilbert Roads will help create a new front door for academic and residential buildings. South Campus Commons – a tree-canopied yard formerly occupied by several vacant and dilapidated faculty houses and used as a staging area for construction of a new Student Recreation Center – is bisected by a primary north-south pedestrian corridor known as Academic Way. With removal of most of the houses and the small surface parking lots between them, the Commons is ready-made to become a large passive space similar to those found at many other prestigious institutions.
Within a short walk to the new Student Recreation Center and campus core, improvements to South Campus Commons will include new sidewalks, tree plantings, lighting, site furnishings and green infrastructure. Construction is anticipated during the fall semester of 2019.