August 23, 2017

Bye Helps Cut Ribbon on New UCONN Downtown Hartford Campus

photo of Senator Bye at UConn.

State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) today helped cut the ribbon on UConn’s new downtown campus in the former Hartford Times building on Prospect Street in Hartford, a move that returns UConn to its roots in Hartford, where it had been located from its opening in 1939 until it moved in 1970 to West Hartford.

Classes start Monday at the downtown campus, which will be home to about 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students and almost 300 full- and part-time employees. When combined with other students enrolled in classes at the nearby Graduate Business Learning Center, UConn now brings more than 3,100 students to downtown Hartford businesses, cultural destinations, and community organizations.

“Today is an important day for democracy in Connecticut, because education is the foundation of our democracy, and it strengthens our state and our nation,” said Sen. Bye, who is Senate Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. “Schools and colleges build an educated citizenry. Institutions of higher education like UCONN are places of community discourse, places to try out new ideas, and places for the arts and humanities to flourish. So today is wonderful celebration, and I want to thank the faculty and staff who will be working with these students, expanding their thinking and helping them try on new perspectives. You are helping to build our democracy one student at a time.”

The new UConn campus comprises about 160,000 square feet in the former Hartford Times building; a nearby 34,500-square-foot building that UConn purchased at 38 Prospect St. to house the School of Social Work; and about 19,200 square feet in the Hartford Public Library in partnership with that organization.

UConn’s new downtown campus includes 23 classrooms, staff and faculty offices, three state-of-the-art computer labs, five science teaching labs, a collaboration space where students and faculty can work on ideas in an informal environment, study areas, conference rooms and meeting spaces, and the atrium.

There are also several student spaces: the student services offices (registrar, bursar, advising, and career counseling); space for student activities, the cultural centers, and student government; a large student lounge; and a Veterans’ Oasis lounge.

In the Hartford Public Library, UConn’s space includes classrooms, study areas, a student lounge, a shared computer lab and classroom, and, appropriately, the campus library.

“UConn Hartford is not only brick, mortar, and steel. It is a living, breathing institution at the core of this city,” UConn President Susan Herbst said at Wednesday’s ribbon cutting. “It will be part of the backbone of Hartford: a place of learning, engagement, and discovery, and a vibrant part of this neighborhood and the capital city as a whole. This is one of the greatest, most momentous days in the 136-year history of UConn, and an exceptionally proud moment for this city and our state.”

“The investment we have made in UConn’s new downtown campus is an investment in higher education, in our capital city, and in our state’s economy,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “Importantly, we are connecting students with all the city has to offer—museums, shops, restaurants, night life, and sports venues—showing the next generation of young professionals how vibrant Hartford is becoming.”

“Today is a great day for the City of Hartford and for the State of Connecticut,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “UConn’s beautiful new campus not only brings the historic Hartford Times building back to life, but brings thousands of students and faculty to downtown Hartford—adding tremendous energy and vitality to our capital city, and bringing us closer to our goal of building a truly vibrant Hartford. I’m deeply grateful to everyone.”