Renovated Arjona to open in summer
University to spend $15.4 million to transform building for expanded office space
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 22:01
Arjona will finish a $15.4 million renovation this coming fall. The transformed building will create offices for the quickly growing faculty together with acting as a temporary home for Counseling and Mental Health Services.
In a budget submitted to the Board of Trustees on Dec. 12 by Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Richard D. Gray and Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Mum Y. Choi explained that while the recently Oak and Laurel Halls have provided new classrooms and offices for many departments, the faculty expansion plan will cause a scarcity of office space in the near future if not addressed. The Arjona renovation is seen as the solution this to problem.
In addition, CHMS’s current building is set to be demolished to make way for a new engineering and general sciences building, which is currently in the design phase. Dr. Elizabeth J. Cracco, the interim director of CMHS, said CMHS is looking forward to the move.
She said, “I think the spaces will be conducive to our work, very bright and open. We are thinking of a marketing campaign promoting CMHS’ new penthouse waterfront location.”
According to Cracco, CMHS’s location in Arjona is temporary and the ultimate goal is to reunite CMHS and Student Health Services when a new building is built.
The renovation’s focus is bringing Arjona up to modern standards, both in the look of the building and the functionality. Director of Project and Program Management for Architectural and Engineering Services, Brian Gore, explained that the project will include upgrades of the heating system, windows, electrical and lighting systems, as well as the installation of air conditioning.
He said, “These upgraded systems will be more energy efficient than the existing systems which they are replacing.”
In addition, new interior finishes such as ceilings and re-painting walls, existing vinyl asbestos tiles will be removed. While the tiles do not pose a health risk in their current states, Gore explained that the project offered a good opportunity remove them.
The renovations are anticipated to be finished by June 30, with faculty moving in over the summer.
The Arjona renovation is funded by phase III of UConn 2000, a project to enhance and expand UConn that started in 1995.