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Committee recommends slight shift
in Pfizer site
June 21, 1999
President Philip E. Austin has accepted a recommendation from the Master Planning Advisory Committee to site the Pfizer-UConn Center for Excellence in Vaccine Research to the north-east of the originally proposed site.
"I am heartened that after a fresh and thorough analysis the committee concluded that a site in the vicinity of the original location is appropriate," Austin said. "I am further encouraged by the committee's sensitivity to the economic and time implications associated with utilizing another location."
The 37-member committee, formed four years ago to work on the campus master plan, has been studying, at Austin's request, potential sites for the UConn-Pfizer Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research since April.
During more than 20 hours of meetings over a period of four weeks, the committee, which includes faculty, students, staff, administrators, alumni, trustees and a representative of the Town of Mansfield, developed 16 weighted criteria and evaluated 19 sites against those criteria.
The committee, whose recommendation was made on May 18, was assisted by an environmental consulting firm, Bay State Environmental Consultants Inc. of East Long Meadow, Mass., which researched and provided information about the sites, including aerial maps.
"The Master Planning Advisory Committee began this work with an open mind and completed a thorough review," said Karla Fox, associate vice chancellor and co-chair of the committee. "We considered every alternative site suggested."
Austin said he has heard from more than 700 people about the plan for the CEVR. "I believe that in the course of the last month, the public debate has become increasingly balanced, as reliable information on the project and the proposed site has received press attention and various perspectives have been more fully explored in the form of news reporting and opinion pieces.
"As controversial as this matter has been, I believe that this debate has served a valuable purpose in the larger discussion of the transformation of the University," he said. "Change is not easy."
Karen A. Grava