Constitution Plaza Leading Contender For Relocating UConn Campus?

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A Hartford architecture firm has been hired by the University of Connecticut to evaluate the former Travelers Education Center on Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford — seen as among the top sites to house the university’s relocated West Hartford campus.

The University of Connecticut is taking a closer look at 200 Constitution Plaza, the former Travelers Education Center in downtown Hartford. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

The university last week announced that it would move the West Hartford campus to downtown Hartford within a year, but it didn’t name a location. The university said it was still evaluating sites.

The agenda for Thursday’s UConn Board of Trustees meeting specifically included the address of the education center — 200 Constitution Plaza — in a request for $243,524 in funding to hire JCJ Architecture PC.

Late Thursday, Lawrence McHugh, the board’s chairman, said in a statement: “The university is examining multiple properties in the course of its due diligence and the board approved this funding to give them the resources to do so.”

A call to the JCJ wasn’t returned Thursday. The former education center is vacant and has been on the market for lease, following a foreclosure.

The education center is among three downtown Hartford sites seen as potential locations for the school. The others are Connecticut River Plaza and One Talcott Plaza.

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Constitution Plaza Leading Contender For Relocating UConn Campus?

  1. sue

    Of course it is. All the building owners will be lining up in DANNY BOY’S office bearing gifts so they can enter the sweepstakes to rip off the CT taxpayer. Hartford can’t attract private business so let’s use more taxpayer dollars to bail out the fat cats

  2. Me

    It would be nice to use all the existing, vacant commercial space downtown instead of building new. Sad thing is, there is so much empty space to choose from.

  3. MG

    How many bitter suburbanites does this state have? Enough whining, take some pride in your capital city for chrissake.

    1. Bri

      MG,

      Unfortunately I think the answer to your question is “way too many.” The best hope for Hartford is for out-of-state young professionals to invest in the city because the suburban population (young and old) have become so prejudiced against Hartford that they’ll never see it for the decently fun small city it is.

      1. Teeheehaha

        I agree with you Bri and MG. For sometime now I have personally seen that trend festering among many suburbanites against the inner cities and counterparts but they fail to realize that if these cities fall their downfall within these other towns will also soon follow as well.

        1. mc

          The reason it has been festering is because, like myself, it hurts to watch. So many bad decisions have been made. So many companies have downsized or moved. The Whalers moved, then the Patriots recanted. The river is cut off from the city. Highways everywhere. Governors and Mayors in jail. Surrounded by suburbanites who hate cities. NIMBY’s galore. Crime. Bad schools. More crime. No grocery store! Really! A city of over 100,000 people and no grocery store!

          1. mc

            Oh wait! Best of all, the BUSWAY! What a joke! Hartford has got to be the only city in the country that gets used so much for exploitation. A busway from one dead city to another. A road for a bus that cost 100′s of millions of dollars. Beyond words.

          2. mc

            Ow, wait, theres more! Front Street! Which is actually just a movie theatre that did not even fill up on the opening night.

          3. Jimmy Bogggs

            Me: You are just yapping because you probably just woke up from your nap.

            You made no real argument.

  4. Jack

    Here’s one suburbanite that thinks that Constitution Plaza would be a great place for the campus. Hartford needs to have more educated young people living downtown and, hopefully, some of them will take an active role in civic activities and help shape the character of the city, going forward. Hartford can be much more than it is, now and it’s going to take youthful energy and vision to accomplish the changes that have to happen.

  5. Jimmy Bogggs

    I would like to listen to arguments why the West Hartford campus is no longer viable. It is a modern structure. It offers plenty of parking and I can’t emphasize this enough.

    There is no possible way that parking will be sufficient for a Constitutional Plaza campus. Further, I believe this kind of expenditure is similar to the New Britain bus highway to nowhere. It is a waste of money pure and simple. A waste of tax payer revenues.

    I like to call it stupid stimulus spending.

    Again, will someone please ask the question how progress is addressed by playing musical chairs with this campus.

    It is a perfectly functioning campus in West Hartfod.

    I am afraid that the decision has already been made to waste money. It’s not very smart but special interest is the rule of the day.

    Full disclosure, I am a Hartfod resident. Whether one is pro waste of money or against the expenditure of money should have nothing to do with where an individual lives.

    1. Jimmy Bogggs

      Add-on: I sometimes wonder if a Board, in this case the Board of Trustees simply get board with themselves and get this itch to do something grand to justify their existence like waste money as it has been shown in previous salary and bonus disputes.

      Governor, clean house and install practical-minded trustees. Stop this BS waste of revenues.

      It is not smart stimulus spending. If it is not smart stimulas spending, don’t waste resources because a Board of Trustees wants to put their name on an unneeded development for posterity.

  6. Me

    The West Hartford campus is closing because they say its run down and the cost to repair is too high and not worth it. I agree with the decision to move downtown. There is plenty of parking garages in that area as well. Connecticut Transit is available too.

    1. Jimmy Bogggs

      Me: Please tell me who “they” are? It it the Board of Trustees – a group that should have less trust considering the recent infamous past.

  7. John

    I actually agree with this strategy. There is far too much vacanct office space in Hartford and, while this doesn’t truly combat the exodus of businesses from Hartford, at least it puts more feet on the ground. Hopefully, some more buinesses can spring up to serve an influx of students and hopefully those students will feel more inclined to stay in the Hartford market after graduation…

    Totally agree with the New Britain busway as a money grab.

  8. Jimmy Bogggs

    John, but you argument has a very large fault associated with it. We shouldn’t spend 10s of millions to relocate just because downtown has oogabs of empty commercial space. Wrong reason.

    Move because an independent study shows that buildings are in major disrepair. And the costs would outweigh the savings to make repairs. I doubt it.

  9. MG

    How come the busway money wasn’t instead spent on commuter rail, such as the already existing line from Springfield to New Haven as well as updating Union Station to be safe, clean, and viable? Rail, as proven in New Haven part of state, is popular and ridden. People here don’t even get that the busway is a transit line, rather than a bus.

    Plus, the main reason for opposing the busway is people don’t want people from Hartford or New Britain going through their towns. Changing that culture is going to be tough. Lastly, just saying “well why don’t you pay for it” is a simple minded attitude. Our society is not every man for himself. Like it or not, everyone benefits from a successful capitol city in some way.

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