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Capital projects group to discuss new classroom building plan

by Karen A. Grava - December 11, 2006

Questions raised about the new classroom building by the Department of Psychology and Babbidge Library have resulted in an alternative building design that will be discussed at a Capital Projects Planning Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, Dec. 14.

The meeting will take place at 2:30 p.m. in room 331 of the Student Union.

The building would replace Arjona and Monteith, the classroom buildings that face Mirror Lake.

The new building would be located on the site of the former UConn Co-op, across from the library and adjacent to the psychology building.

The proposed revised design responds to concerns raised by the psychology department and the library, including access distance between buildings and future plans for the psychology building.

The two classroom buildings, constructed in 1959, are being replaced with one, because it will be less costly to build and maintain and will provide greater programmatic flexibility, says Jim Bradley, executive director of architectural and engineering services.

"A centrally located single building for general classrooms and the social sciences and humanities areas offers many advantages," he says.

"Those include convenient student access, desirable departmental programmatic adjacencies, construction cost and long-term maintenance cost advantages, and the elimination of swing space requirements."

The shape and layout of the alternative design was one of the five original concepts, but not one of the three discussed during the committee's meeting earlier this fall.

The design will be presented to the committee by architects from Leers Weinzapfel Associates of Boston.

They will be available to answer questions at the meeting.

The Capital Projects Planning Advisory Committee meeting, which is open to the public, will also include an update on other construction and building projects.

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