UConn On-Campus Construction Update: June 2023

Several transformational projects are underway or about to start at UConn Storrs in June

The Wilbur Cross Building on a sunny day.

(Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

While some activities may slow down at UConn Storrs over the summer, the recent end of the spring semester heralded an acceleration in several construction projects that will prompt detours and other temporary changes.

The projects are part of UConn’s work to meet the current and future needs of its student body, research mission, and academic operations.

With that work often closing roads or requiring other changes, the University provides regular updates to inform students, faculty, staff, and guests about the status of significant projects and to help them anticipate changes in traffic and pedestrian patterns.

Like the reconstruction of North Eagleville Road from 2016 to 2018, the temporary inconveniences caused by the construction will be far outweighed by the long-term benefits, and the University requests patience and understanding as it tries to minimize the disturbances.

South Campus Residence Hall and Infrastructure Construction

Construction continues on the new South Campus residence hall near the corner of Mansfield and Gilbert roads. The facility will have 657 beds and a 500-seat dining hall, and is expected to open to residents in fall 2024.

A related project to extend necessary infrastructure to the site will be starting soon, including work to provide geothermal heating and cooling in the new residence hall.

To accommodate the construction, UConn expects to enact detours and other traffic pattern changes around the area at various times, which will be posted in advance by UConn Planning, Design, and Construction and managed with on-site personnel as needed to ensure safety and traffic flow.

Utilities to some nearby sites may also be temporarily shut down at times during the work, and the work will require occasional detours to pedestrian routes and other changes. Information on bus routes and stops can be found on the UConn Transportation website.

Some of the anticipated road closures and detours over the summer include the following, all of which are subject to change as needed:

• The area of Mansfield Road between Coventry Road and Whitney Road will be closed from mid-July to mid-August, and again in summer 2024. Whitney Road will temporarily be used for two-way traffic to reach the areas around Gulley and Manchester halls, and the Family Sciences and Budds buildings.

• Gilbert Road will be closed between Whitney Road Extension and Mansfield Road starting in mid-July and remain closed throughout the coming academic year, with an anticipated reopening in mid-August 2024. Access will be available via Bolton Road.

• This fall, Whitney Road Extension will temporarily close; adjacent areas will be reachable via Mansfield Road.

• Starting in September and running through spring 2024, Maple and Coventry roads will be closed and access will be available via Bolton Road and Mansfield Road.

• Parking lots R and S will be affected as well:

– Lot R (the Fine Arts lot, Area 1 permit parking) will be partially closed between mid-July through this fall.
– Lot S, which provides Area 2 permit parking nearby, will be partially closed starting in mid-July and running through summer 2025.

Mansfield Apartments Demolition and Replacement

A separate student housing project also will be taking place in the southeastern corner of campus, albeit on a different schedule: replacing the former Mansfield Apartments complex with new student apartments with modern amenities.

The 16-acre site, located near the corner of Routes 195 and 275 at the southeastern corner of UConn Storrs, was cleared of many of the existing buildings in late winter and throughout spring. The site is being prepared for new construction, and demolition activities will be completed in June.

If all remains on schedule, the new housing construction would begin in summer 2024 and the apartments would open in time for students to move in starting in fall 2026.

Construction truck traffic to and from the site will be coordinated along with that of the South Campus residence hall traffic, with the same considerations of avoiding heavy commuter periods and E.O. Smith High School bus travel times.

More details will be provided on detours, construction logistics, and other impacts in the coming months.

Other Projects in the Works

• Work will take place over the summer to start renovations at the Mark Edward Freitas Forum to become the new home of UConn Women’s Volleyball now that the ice hockey teams have moved to the Toscano Family Ice Arena.

The Freitas project includes removing the ice-making system, dasher boards, and other hockey-specific features in the Freitas Forum. It also includes renovating the locker room and associated spaces, replacing the arena’s audience seating, and related updates.

Renovations on the playing surface are expected to be far enough along so that the volleyball team will start the 2023 season there if all remains on schedule. The remaining work to the locker rooms will be done in early 2024, after the 2023 season concludes.

• Safety-related improvements are underway to traffic signal and pedestrian facilities at the intersection of North Eagleville Road and Discovery Drive. Work will also be included at the nearby intersection of North Eagleville and Auditorium roads since their signalization controls are linked.

New poles, mast arms, and traffic control equipment will be added this fall along with pedestrian signal heads, push-button pedestals, curb ramp and crosswalk improvements, and other features. The signals are expected to be operational in or before November. The roads will not close, but some traffic patterns might be temporarily amended for short periods during specific parts of the project.

• Gampel Pavilion’s iconic wood basketball court is being replaced with a new maple surface over the summer, with plans to have it ready for the new basketball season this fall.

The floor was installed shortly before Gampel opened in January 1990 and has been sanded and refinished annually to keep it in playable condition. However, the court has reached the end of its useful life and cannot be further sanded.

The project entails removing the wood flooring, inspecting and repairing the subfloor, installing the new maple floor, and finishing it with sanding and final painting. Plans are in the works to sell pieces of the wood planks to fans as a fund-raiser, although details have not yet been publicized.