UConn wants to sell West Hartford campus to company looking to build international high school

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WEST HARTFORD–Nearly two years after announcing that it would close the West Hartford campus, UConn has settled on a potential buyer for the property.

The Board of Trustees for UConn is set to meet on Wednesday, and one of the agenda items added was for trustees to vote to authorize negotiations for the property with the private buyer Weiming Education Group. Weiming wants to build an international high school with student housing. The school would be intended to serve American, Asian, European and South American students.

The university has come to a tentative agreement to sell the property to Weiming for $12.6 million.

The town of West Hartford has the right to match the sale price and buy the property for the town’s use, so part of the agenda is to authorize an official notification to the town that the university wants to sell the property to Weiming for that price. The town has 45 days to notify UConn if it still plans to buy the property.

In December, the school sent an initial notification to the town of West Hartford notifying it of the intent to sell the property, and giving West Hartford a first chance to buy. On January 15 the town responded to an initial notification saying it wanted to purchase the property, but the 60-day period required for the sale to  be completed in ended on March 15. According to the agreement, that allowed UConn to seek other buyers and set a price for sale.

According to a letter to the Board of Trustees, the school’s CFO and general counsel said informal conversations between university representatives and the town have been positive, and indicate the town will be receptive to Weiming buying the property for a school. The letter says it would be a positive move for the town since the school would interact with public schools, and that having students live on campus instead of a commuter school being  there would reduce traffic in the area.

UConn is leaving the 58-acre, five-building campus located near the intersection of Asylum Avenue and Trout Brook Drive in the fall of 2017 to move to a downtown Hartford location currently being built.

Weiming is a China- and Michigan-based educational company. It plans to negotiate with the town to transfer ownership of the youth ballfields on the campus to the town.

At the meeting, the recommended closure of the Torrington UConn campus will also be discussed, though no decision is expected.