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UConn 2000 changing face of campus

Construction on campus shifted into high gear this summer, with the launching of several major new UConn 2000 projects and significant progress on other key projects, including the new chemistry building.

With 75 projects worth a total of nearly $463 million now under way at Storrs and the regional campuses, the transformation of the University's infrastructure is moving ahead at a brisk pace.

In June, ground was broken for the new South Campus residence halls, that will feature state-of-the-art dormitories with nearly 700 new beds. One month later, workers began constructing a new, 1,027-space parking garage that will open just five months from now. Workers also began installing underground utilities that will connect the new chemistry building, the Edward V. Gant Science Complex, and Torrey Life Sciences buildings, among others. And four more classrooms were renovated, complete with sophisticated audiovisual equipment and computer hardware, bringing to more than 40 the number of renovated classrooms on campus.

In addition, renovation projects continued, including work on a new roof for Jorgensen Auditorium and renovations to the Wilbur Cross Building, including regilding the dome.

Bids were received for several other projects, including the Marine Sciences Institute at the Avery Point campus and construction of a new enclosed ice rink at Storrs.

The pace will not slow this fall. In October, construction will begin on the tech quad project's phase 1, a new biology and physics building that will fill in the fourth and last side of the Gant complex and provide researchers with another 140,000 square feet of laboratories and offices. And bids will be opened in late September for construction of the agricultural biotechnology research building off Route 195, near the Dairy Bar.

More major projects, including new buildings for the schools of business and pharmacy, a new central warehouse, a large addition to the Student Union and the retrofitting of the "old" chemistry building, wait in the wings, a reminder that the UConn 2000 program is still in its infancy.

Other projects are coming to fruition.

Scaffolding that has shrouded the Homer Babbidge Library for years is coming down. The remaining work on the library, the only current construction project that predates UConn 2000, is expected to be completed by May 1998: it involves reconstructing and enclosing the plaza level, and building the front entryway. The Hugh Greer Field House and Brundage Pool are again open for business. And the new downtown Stamford campus is just a few months away from opening to the public.

For updates on UConn 2000 projects, see the Facilities Management or the UConn 2000 websites.

Richard Veilleux