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High student praise for Storrs Center

By Stephen Skudlarek
On February 14, 2013

The response of UConn students to the Storrs Center Project has been overwhelmingly positive so far, in light of the recent openings of Dog Lane Cafe, Mooyah Burgers and Fries and Moe's Southwest Grill.

Students seem to enjoy the array of food choices offered by the Storrs Center outlets, as well as the complex's proximity to the campus.

"It's nice to have something like this within walking distance," said Raji Rajendran, a 6th-semester allied health major. "And even though it's so close, it's almost like it's an escape from the campus while you're there. I love a lot of the stores, too, especially Froyoworld. It always brightens my day when I'm there."

Other students said they think the complex has had a positive financial impact on the university and the town of Mansfield.

"I think that this university really needed some place that specializes in food resembling home-cooked meals," said Elena Innes, a 4th-semester political science major. "I'm always interested in visiting nice, quiet eateries, so I'm pretty excited about some of the restaurants on Dog Lane. I also think the Storrs Center Project is great for commerce, and for this university. I believe that to some extent, this center will help encourage students to come here to UConn, and for parents to invest their funds in this university."

Brian Sheehan, a 4th-semester Eurotech major, also thinks the Storrs Center is a positive addition to the university area. "The Storrs Center is a fantastic opportunity to bring solid economic growth to this area," he said. "I think it also provides a safe hang-out place for students, whether they're from UConn or other local schools, like E.O. Smith High School. Plus, the complex offers upscale apartments for students and residents who can afford them."

Michael Longo, a 6th-semester biology major, said he initially had fears that the center would overshadow local companies and businesses. "At first, I was worried that this project would have a negative effect on local businesses," he said. "However, most of the businesses that are coming into the complex are either locally-owned or small chains, so I don't think the impact will be too bad. Thankfully, they're not putting in something like a Wal-Mart Supercenter that would wreck the local economy."

Other UConn students are interested in some of the upcoming additions to the area.

"Personally, I can't wait until Geno's Grille opens," said Nick Cuff, an 8th-semester communications disorder major. "I'm a huge fan of authentic Italian cooking, which is something that this area is sorely lacking."

Geno's Grille is scheduled to open this month, said Cynthia Van Zelm, executive director of the Mansfield Downtown Partnership at a Tuesday town and university meeting. Geno's Grille is the last unfinished element of the Storrs Center construction phase. The newest branch of the UConn Health Center, and an additional location for the UConn Co-op, are slated for completion later this year.  

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