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UConn Greater Hartford Campus to be relocated

By Katherine Tibedo
On November 9, 2012

  • Students walk across the UConn Greater Hartford Campus in West Hartford. The campus is scheduled to be moved from West Hartford to downtown Hartford within a year. Photo courtesy of UConn Today.

In the face of rising repair and maintenance costs, the UConn Greater Hartford Campus will be moving from West Hartford to downtown Hartford within a year.
"Ensuring that UConn is fully contributing to the life of our capital city is one of my highest priorities." UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement Thursday. "Moving the Greater Hartford campus back to the city, where it began and belongs, will better enable the campus to fulfill its academic mission, provide a major boost for downtown Hartford and save the university millions in the process."
Since UConn is still in negotiations, no specifics have been released on the new location, other than it will be an existing complex.
The campus, currently located in West Hartford, is in deteriorating condition. An estimated $18.4 million would be required to bring the buildings up to an acceptable state. Furthermore, updates and repairs need to be made to the technology infrastructure, and the mechanical systems in the three main campus buildings need to be completely replaced. Combined, nearly $25 million would be needed to keep the campus operational, in addition to the $7.2 million spent on continual repairs to the campus over the past four years.
The Greater Hartford campus is home to over 2,100 undergraduates with approximately 60 full-time faculty members. Many of its graduate and undergraduate programs greatly interact with the surrounding environment, and thus are limited by being located outside of the city. The new locations will aid the growth of programs such as initiatives working on K-12 education, and UConn Department of Public Policy's Master of Public Administration program, which requires students to complete a professional internship, many of which are located in Hartford.
UConn opened a campus in Hartford in 1939. That campus was moved to West Harford in 1970. UConn Media Relations Associate Stephanie Reitz said in an email that the suburban location has held back the development of the campus. In addition, UConn wishes to integrate itself more in Hartford by moving back to the city. By bringing the Greater Hartford Campus back to downtown Hartford, the University believes the campus can achieve its full potential.
Herbst said, "The campus was originally intended to offer an urban education near the seat of state government and there is no better place to accomplish that than in the heart of downtown. This will be a win-win for UConn, our students and the City of Hartford."
The current West Hartford campus will be sold after the completion of the move.

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