For the first time in a decade, there will be new construction on UConn’s Avery Point campus in Groton. The aging campus Student Center is set to be demolished and in its place, a new 5,000 square foot addition wrapping around the theater and the existing academic building will be added and the campus’s 300-seat theater will be renovated inside and out. The new space will include a food service operation, seating, a student lounge and game room, as well as a performance venue.
“This will serve to create a new gateway for Avery Point and will have a dramatic effect on the campus,” says Michael Alfultis, director of the Avery Point campus. “The campus has excellent academic and research space, but it’s also important that we have facilities that promote and enhance student life, as well as that of the faculty and staff who work here.”
Demolition of the existing Student Center is currently scheduled to take place the week of Aug 1. The new $6.8 million construction/renovation project will begin in early spring 2012, and is scheduled to be completed a year later.
Avery Point, overlooking Long Island Sound, became a regional campus of the University of Connecticut in 1967. It was previously the estate of Morton Plant, a wealthy industrialist. The site was later used by the U.S. Coast Guard as a training center and was most recently the location for its Research and Development Center. The campus’ library, main academic building, and the Student Center that is slated for demolition are all located in former Coast Guard buildings.
In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programs, the Avery Point campus is home to Connecticut Sea Grant, the Northeast Underwater Research Technology and Education Center, Project Oceanology, and UConn’s Department of Marine Sciences and associated Marine Sciences and Technology Center. Approximately 700 undergraduate and graduate students attend classes at Avery Point. Approximately 130 full-time and 100 part-time faculty and staff are based on the campus.