The UConn Board of Trustees on Wednesday accredited development of a brand new residence corridor on South Campus, which can assist the College replace its housing choices to raised help college students of their tutorial and social experiences.
The board gave approval for College officers to maneuver ahead with the development section for the proposed residence corridor, associated utility connections, and panorama enhancements.
The residence corridor could have 657 beds and a brand new eating corridor of 500 seats and is anticipated to open within the fall of 2024. It is going to be constructed close to the present South Campus Residence Halls, on the nook of Gilbert and Mansfield roads, to create a shared courtyard between that advanced and the brand new constructing.
Amenity areas within the new residence corridor will embody open and personal lounges, widespread areas, a sport room, laundry amenities, bicycle storage, seminar rooms, assembly rooms, and multipurpose areas.
The eating space will overlook Mirror Lake and can assist to alleviate present wait occasions at different close by eating halls. Seating areas could have excessive ceilings and clerestory home windows, permitting extra pure gentle to filter into the house.
The entrance entrance of the brand new residence corridor will face Gilbert Street and be alongside campus bus routes, in shut proximity to the principle pedestrian walkway by way of campus.
The undertaking price range of $215 million for the South Campus residence corridor undertaking will likely be paid primarily by way of particular obligation bonds issued by UConn, which additionally pays the debt on them. Funds by way of state bond funds particularly accredited for Subsequent Technology Connecticut initiatives, and people of the initiative’s predecessor, UConn 2000 may also be used.
The constructing is designed to fulfill LEED Gold necessities and Connecticut Excessive Efficiency Constructing Requirements. Power calls for for the brand new constructing will likely be tremendously diminished by an space infrastructure undertaking, at present within the design section, to put in geo-thermal wells that make the most of the earth’s secure temperature to cut back vitality consumption throughout heating and cooling seasons. This would be the first such set up on UConn’s Storrs campus, and the geo-thermal wells are a part of the College’s initiative to cut back fossil gasoline use. The undertaking additionally contains landscaped storm water administration areas that may restrict rainwater runoff to Mirror Lake.
The proposal for a brand new South Campus residence corridor has been a part of the UConn Grasp Plan for the Storrs campus since its 2015 replace and was additionally envisioned within the Subsequent Technology Connecticut initiative, which the Common Meeting accredited in 2013 to catalyze analysis, tutorial excellence, and financial progress.
The College acquired its first design of the proposed residence corridor in 2015, however the undertaking was quickly positioned on maintain as different Subsequent Gen initiatives have been underneath manner and as uncertainties lingered with the state price range and its appropriation ranges for UConn. The unique 2015 design was a conventional residence corridor, however was reimagined as an all-suite constructing in response to a scholar housing examine carried out in 2020.
UConn homes 65% to 70% of its undergraduate college students on campus every year, one of many highest on-campus residency charges within the nation.
A number of trustees have mentioned that envisioning the way forward for on-campus scholar housing amenities is without doubt one of the most necessary points the College will face in coming years, significantly since applicable scholar housing is so essential to supporting the form of life-transformative academic experiences that UConn provides.
UConn at present has 18 residential communities, starting from the pre-war and traditionally noteworthy buildings within the East Campus advanced to the five-year-old Peter J. Werth Tower within the Hilltop space. About two-thirds of the housing inventory consists of conventional double or single items.
Pupil curiosity in on-campus dwelling has been traditionally robust, with about 11,500 to 12,500 college students within the residence halls at Storrs in a median 12 months.
In a typical 12 months, virtually 60% of UConn’s on-campus college students are first-year college students and sophomores, with these youthful college students most closely concentrated within the conventional items with roommates. Nevertheless, college students in any respect ranges have instructed the College that they like suites and apartment-style dwelling due to the independence, group, and comfort they provide.