UConn Board of Trustees clears Stamford housing plan
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 01:10
Plans are now underway to begin a project at UConn’s regional campus in Stamford to provide housing for students by the fall of 2016.
On Wednesday, Sept. 25, UConn’s Board of Trustees voted in favor of starting a process to bring student housing to a regional campus, and it will be the first time outside of Storrs.
With its current population at 1,400 students, the Stamford campus is expected to grow under Next Generation Connecticut, a program passed in state legislature during the 2012 session. UConn is planning to have housing close to campus and available for 400 students.
Since there is currently no university housing available at Stamford’s campus, many students must rent apartments in the city. However, with the new housing, students will most likely be able to choose from studio and dormitory units.
“Having a residential component at our Stamford campus answers great demand from our students, who tell us time and time again that they’d like to have an undergraduate experience there that includes housing,” UConn President Susan Herbst said.
“Stamford is a vibrant city,” Herbst said, “and our students have many opportunities there for internships that complement their studies on campus.”
Asked why, of all regional campus, UConn decided to bring housing to Stamford, University spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said that the “Stamford campus is poised to grow, both in enrollment and programs, under the Next Generation Connecticut initiative, so having student housing there is a natural fit to help facilitate that growth.”
“Our research also shows that there’s strong interest among students,” Reitz said, “and that many who currently commute say they’d jump at the chance to live close to the campus.”
While many see the housing plan as an improvement to the campus, some are concerned about the regional impact it may have. In particular, some people fear it will drive down enrollment at Western Connecticut State University, which is about an hour away.
On this matter, Reitz said, “UConn doesn’t see itself in competition with Western Connecticut State, which does a great job with its programs and is a partner in the state’s larger mission of having a highly educated and highly skilled workforce.”
“We expect there may be opportunities for collaboration,” Reitz said, “and we admire all that WCSU is accomplishing and the talented students it’s producing.”
Aside from the main campus in Storrs and the one in Stamford, UConn also has regional campuses in Avery Point, Torrington, Waterbury and Greater Hartford. While UConn was founded in Storrs in 1881, the regional campus in Stamford opened in 1951.