The southern entrance to the UConn campus adjacent to Storrs Center will have a new look in the fall, one that better links the campus to the changed Storrs Road streetscape and encourages pedestrian travel to the School of Fine Arts complex.
With wider sidewalks and signage to promote events at the School of Fine Arts complex, the area will have a more contiguous look as a “gateway” to the University for visitors arriving from the south along Route 195/Storrs Road, following improvements that will begin in mid-June and scheduled to be completed by October.
The Board of Trustees last week approved the $1.5 million cost for the renovations, which will include new landscaping and an improved look to the corner of Storrs and Bolton roads, near the entrance to the Music Library. The project will also provide improved accessibility to the Music Library and the Nafe Katter Theatre.
We will use this opportunity to further develop the relationship between ourselves and the downtown center community, and to bring arts and commerce closer together. (Dean Brid Grant)
Eileen McHugh, project manager in the Department of Planning, Architecture, and Engineering Services, says the renovations will help invite more visitors to restaurants and shops at Storrs Center as they make their way onto campus.
“This is the gateway, orienting people to the rest of the campus, and it will help those in vehicles to recognize they are entering the campus,” McHugh says. “This is about interaction with our partners in the downtown. We want it to be a pedestrian experience.”
New signage for entering the campus will include displays with update information about events at the School of Fine Arts complex and other venues, including art exhibitions, music performances, and theatrical productions.
“The new landscaping is going to add to the aesthetic appeal of our corner of the campus,” says Brid Grant, dean of the School of Fine Arts. “Our location is one of the gateways to the University, and the new streetscape will help showcase the entrance to our performance and exhibition spaces. We will use this opportunity to further develop the relationship between ourselves and the downtown center community, and to bring arts and commerce closer together.”
UConn’s presence in the downtown development includes the Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center, Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry, and UConn Health, which opened recently at Storrs Center. Medical services include specialists in family medicine, occupational medicine, internal medicine, cardiology, orthopaedic surgery, sports medicine, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and general surgery. Additional medical services will soon include dentistry, dermatology, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology.
The latest addition to Storrs Center is the Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center at 23 Royce Circle, an intermodal transportation node that provides additional parking for visitors to the campus, and will serve as a bus and bicycle hub and information center. Features of the center include racks, showers, lockers, and storage for bicycle commuters.