UConn is planning on using the building behind the former Hartford Times building as the cornerstone of its downtown Hartford campus. The university calls the move its largest milestone to date.
In the past, UConn had a Hartford campus. It opened in 1939 but later moved to West Hartford in 1970. UConn leaders say its a return back to its urban roots where the campus integrates academic excellence with the city’s vitality.
But that vision wasn’t what Hartford city leaders wanted. In fact, initially city leaders were against the move saying an education institution didn’t fit with the entertainment district. UConn fought back, believing that students would be encouraged to walk around hte city, eat at local restaurants and shop around. The University also has plans to add to the entertainment district by opening retail shops on all three sides of the building.
The school says the return to the capitol city is part of a broader commitment to expand its academic mission, especially for students pursuing public policy and social work.
UConn plans to offer more opportunities for students interested in these degrees by adding programs that would be based upon working with urban teacher and government agencies.
Construction on the site is expected to begin in late 2015 or early 2016. Classes would likely start in 2017. The school expects 2,300 students and 250 faculty members to call it home.
UConn`s Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote at 1 p.m. To approve the necessary documents to move everything forward. Gov. Dannel Malloy, Mayor Pedro Segarra and UConn President Susan Herbst will all be in attendance.