The University of Connecticut has formalized its plans to open a campus in downtown Hartford, approving and signing documents to establish the new location at a site anchored by the former Hartford Times building.
The UConn Board of Trustees approved the agreements Tuesday that authorize the University to move its West Hartford operations to the downtown site, where UConn plans to create a classic urban campus intertwined with the nearby Hartford Public Library, Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut Science Center, and government offices.
UConn President Susan Herbst signed the paperwork with representatives of the developers, The HB Nitkin Group; and of the state Office of Policy and Management and the Capital Region Development Authority.
In addition to blending top-tier UConn academics with the many offerings of city life, the move returns UConn to its urban roots. Although it has been in West Hartford since 1970, UConn’s first campus in the region was established in 1939 in Hartford.
“After months of preliminary work, due diligence, and planning, the vision for a UConn campus in downtown Hartford can now become a reality,” Herbst said. “Its original mission was to provide an urban educational setting for our students, and for the city – and it soon will again.”
Tuesday’s event also included comments from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt.-Gov. Nancy Wyman; Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra; UConn Board of Trustees chairman Larry McHugh and vice chair Tom Ritter; and local legislators.
“This is an historic day for Hartford. The establishment of UConn Hartford further secures UConn’s national academic presence and Hartford’s place as America’s best capital city,” Segarra said. “The presence of 2,500 students, faculty, and staff in the heart of the city’s economic engine will generate an infusion of activity that will directly benefit our city and state for years to come.”
UConn’s plans to return the campus to Hartford are part of its broader commitment to the vitality of the region and state, and the learning, research, and outreach components of its academic mission.
Classes could begin at the new campus as early as fall 2017.