UConn will move its campus currently located on Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford to downtown Hartford. Officials say this will be a big boost to the downtown area and local businesses tend to agree.
The University of Connecticut is planning to move its Greater Hartford Campus in West Hartford to downtown Hartford by this time next year. That means 2100 students and sixty faculty will be on the move too.
School officials are not disclosing exactly where the new campus will go but there's already a lot of buzz in the capital city.
Businesses in the downtown corridor stand to benefit from the influx of students.
"When we hear an institution like UConn is willing to invest time and money and put students in Hartford, that's a nice draw," Conor Geary, manager of the City Steam Restaurant, said.
The current campus on Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford has been there since the 1970s. School leaders plan to save millions of dollars in renovation costs by moving the school to Hartford.
“Ensuring that UConn is fully contributing to the life of our capital city is one of my highest priorities," UConn President Susan Herbst, said. "Moving the Greater Hartford campus back to the city, where it began and belongs, will better enable the campus to fulfill its academic mission, provide a major boost for downtown Hartford and save the university millions in the process. The campus was originally intended to offer an urban education near the seat of state government and there is no better place to accomplish that than in the heart of downtown. This will be a win-win for UConn, our students and the City of Hartford.”
The move is expected to cost $125,000 and there are special considerations being made for parking.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he's been actively engaged in making sure UConn has a bigger footprint in the city.
"The City of Hartford stands ready to welcome UConn with open arms and assist in as many ways as we can with a possible relocation,” Segarra said.
West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka said he is sorry to see the school go but he added that they already have some ideas as to what to do with the property.
"It opens up some exciting possibilities," Slifka said. "The University of St Joseph and University of Hartford have expressed interest in it. Could be a good thing."