Editorial: Ongoing construction has produced great results on campus
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 02:09
UConn has nearly completed a monumental construction project which has, over the course of the past 20 years, enhanced the appearance and the appeal of the Storrs campus immeasurably. A few of us were even in kindergarten when the UConn 2000 project broke ground in 1995 – but if we were somehow able to remember what the campus looked like back then, we would see the changes everywhere. Google Earth’s historical imagery can give us a sense of this uncanny feeling: satellite images from 1991 show a grass-covered square lot between Gampel Pavilion and the library where the business and engineering buildings now stand. A forest takes the place of Hilltop Apartments. The site of the Chemistry Building is occupied by an edifice far smaller than the one that stands today. Even Husky Village is nowhere to be found. These buildings have only existed for a dozen, perhaps a dozen and a half years – yet they feel as if they’ve always been here and always will.
The abundance of construction and renovation over the past years, culminating in the opening of Oak Hall and the renovation of the McMahon dining hall, has brought UConn’s academic and social life into the 21st century and spared many an undergraduate from the tyranny of a class in Monteith or Arjona. The infrastructure is far more functional now than it was even two or three years ago. It has also made Storrs a much more aesthetically pleasing and beautiful place. In place of the dilapidated strip malls and buildings that once clung to Route 195, we now have impressive towers of copper and brick and countless elegant facades to call our own.
Construction isn’t pretty, though, and it sometimes gets in the way. Studying for finals in spite of the noise produced by construction equipment across the street or next door is a thoroughly unpleasant experience that no student should have to endure. The much beloved Paperback Trader – forced out of Storrs by high rent – has now moved so far away it is inaccessible to most. At any given moment, some building or place on campus is under construction – it can’t all get done in the summer while we’re on vacation. But when we see the results of foresight and diligent care of the many buildings on campus manifest themselves, we can’t help but feel thankful and proud to be attending such a modern, innovative and beautiful university.