Long-term plan for future of university underway
UConn interviewing firms, plans to begin work in 2015
The University of Connecticut is in the beginning stage of an extensive effort to make the Storrs campus more connected in many ways, including changes in the landscape and the construction of additional buildings.
The Master Plan, as it is frequently referred to, will begin around January 2015, since a lot of planning is necessary before the actual process can begin. There are many different parts included in the entire project.
Through Next Generation Connecticut, a $1.5 billion investment for UConn, which was approved by the Connecticut General Assembly last year, the university received funding for several different projects - mainly for building new dorms and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classrooms.
One major piece of the process will be to include UConn students, staff, faculty and others in the plan, Cruickshank said.
"The interview process (for firms interested in the Master Plan project) was done very publicly," Cruickshank added.
For the planning process, she said that UConn has conducted six interviews with different companies. They will announce the selected firm, which Cruickshank said includes several "fairly important" consultants from Connecticut, within the next few days.
Once the firm begins working, committees will be established for different purposes-mainly to make sure that the voices and opinions of UConn students, staff and faculty, as well as those of town residents, are heard.
Another big step in this effort will be to conduct impact studies to predict changes to the campus landscape, traffic and the environment.
They will conduct cost estimates and provide more public forums.
"The schedule isn't set yet," Cruickshank said, "but we are working on it right now to figure out when we can do things. ... We want to work around the academic calendar."
Among the various plans for development in Storrs is the addition of new dorms. Cruickshank said there is not yet a confirmed location for where they will be constructed, but she did say that they might be near the great X Lot area.
Cruickshank said the completion of the master plan could take as long as 2030.
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