UConn to Mark Milestone in Plans for Downtown Hartford Campus

The new downtown Hartford Campus will be anchored by the former Hartford Times building. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The new downtown Hartford Campus will be anchored by the former Hartford Times building. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn is preparing to mark a significant milestone in its plan for a dynamic new campus in downtown Hartford, where it will interweave top-tier academic programs with the vitality offered by Connecticut’s capital city and its abundant educational and service opportunities.

UConn’s Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3, to approve the necessary documents to move operations of the West Hartford campus to a downtown Hartford site anchored by the former Hartford Times building.

The documents, including a development agreement with HB Nitkin Group, will then be signed at 1:30 p.m. that day on the Burr Mall green space across the street from the site.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Larry McHugh, UConn President Susan Herbst, and others are scheduled to speak.

Moving the greater Hartford campus back to the city where it began and belongs will better enable the campus to fulfill its academic mission and provide a major boost for downtown Hartford. —President Susan Herbst

UConn opened its first Hartford campus in 1939, eventually moving to the West Hartford location in 1970. In addition to the historic significance of returning to its urban roots, UConn’s move will create a neighborhood campus fully intertwined with the nearby Hartford Public Library, Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut Science Center, Connecticut Convention Center, and state and city government offices.

Classes could begin at the new campus as early as fall 2017. UConn’s nearby Graduate Business Learning Center will also be consolidated with the other programs at the new campus, which will be home to about 2,300 students and about 250 faculty members.

“Ensuring that UConn is fully contributing to the life of our capital city is one of my highest priorities,” Herbst said when the Hartford Times site was selected last year. “Moving the greater Hartford campus back to the city where it began and belongs will better enable the campus to fulfill its academic mission and provide a major boost for downtown Hartford.”

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.

Being located downtown is also expected to offer new experiential learning opportunities for students in the Department of Public Policy and the School of Social Work – both of which will move from West Hartford to the new site – and in programs based upon working with urban K-12 teachers and students, government agencies, businesses, and other entities.

Once the necessary development documents are signed at the June 3 event, the University will undertake more detailed studies of the space and design work, with the intention of beginning construction at the site in late 2015 or early 2016.