Construction Begins on New Classroom Building

<p>The groundbreaking ceremony for the new West Classroom Building. From left, Jane Weinzapfel of Leer Weinzapfel Associates, Steve Eustis, senior vice president/account manager at Skanska USA Building, Rep. Pamela Sawyer, Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Willams, Rep. Denise Merrill, Provost Peter Nicholls, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, student trustee Richard Colon, President Michael Hogan, USG president Tom Haggerty, trustee Michael Martinez, Rep. Brian Hurlbut, and Sen. Tony Guglielmo. Photo by Peter Morenus</p>
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new West Classroom Building. From left, Jane Weinzapfel of Leer Weinzapfel Associates, Steve Eustis, senior vice president/account manager at Skanska USA Building, Rep. Pamela Sawyer, Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, Rep. Denise Merrill, Provost Peter Nicholls, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, student trustee Cory Schmitt, President Michael Hogan, USG president Tom Haggerty, trustee Michael Martinez, Rep. Bryan Hurlburt, and Sen. Tony Guglielmo. Photo by Peter Morenus

UConn leaders and state officials gathered on the Storrs campus Dec. 3 to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 67,000 square-foot classroom building that will be constructed on Fairfield Way. The building, which will initially be known as the West Classroom Building, is the first of two new structures that will replace the aging Monteith and Arjona buildings.

After ceremonially breaking ground on the construction site, UConn President Michael Hogan, Provost Peter Nicholls, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, Senate President Don Williams, House Majority Leader Denise Merrill, state Rep. Pamela Sawyer, and undergraduate student government president Thomas Haggerty, and others, moved indoors for remarks.

“Both new buildings will provide modern, technologically advanced, environmentally friendly classroom space for thousands of students and faculty members,” said Hogan. “Monteith and Arjona have been inadequate and in disrepair for years, so I know that these new buildings will be a breath of fresh air for those who will learn and work in them.”

West will include two auditoria that can seat 200 and 400 people, as well as 17 classrooms of varying size that can seat between 25 and 70 students each.

The buildings are being constructed under the 21st Century UConn/UConn 2000 program. The budget for West’s construction is $42 million. It will be completed during the spring of 2011 and ready for that year’s fall semester. The construction will be associated with about 70 construction jobs.

West building will have numerous environmentally conscious and sustainable energy features, including: a ‘green roof,’ efficient fixtures that will reduce water consumption by an estimated 48 percent, and energy-efficient lighting, as well as high-performance insulation and abundant natural light to reduce heating and cooling needs.

Construction of the second classroom building is scheduled to begin in the early summer of 2010. Both buildings will provide space for social science classes, including economics, political science, linguistics, modern and classical languages, and journalism.