The University of Connecticut plans to completely convert the Nathan Hale Inn into student housing are in progress since 2014 and the University is still dedicated to making the transition.
UConn purchased the Inn from Interstate Hotels and Resorts in July 2015 for $8.3 million, as reported by the Daily Campus.
The University has a “first right of refusal” which allowed it to purchase the property for the same price as a private buyer, according to the Daily Campus.
“The opportunity came up to buy that property, and it’s so close to everything else on campus, it was just a good fit for us to buy it while we had the chance,” Stephanie Reitz, UConn’s Spokesperson, said.
The Nathan Hale Inn is situated in the middle of South Campus Residence Halls and students living in the Nathan Hale would have convenient access to Rome Commons Dining Hall, Reitz said.
“Proximity is really important, [the Inn] is in the middle of so many residence halls,” Reitz said.
There may also be plans in the works for the construction of a new hotel to accommodate visitors to the University.
“We at the University would not be building a hotel ourselves, but we would be monitoring the area,” Reitz said.
UConn has the jurisdiction to monitor the construction of a hotel built within 15 miles of the campus, Reitz said.
UConn currently uses 50 of the Hale’s 98 rooms for student housing, providing a total of 280 beds, Reitz said.
“[The rooms are] more hotel style, but they have the same kind of amenities as a dorm,” Reitz said.
The use of the Hale as student housing does not reflect a student housing problem, Reitz said.
“UConn has one of the highest levels of on-campus housing, we have 70 percent of students living on campus,” Reitz said.
At Eastern Connecticut State University, only 53 percent of students live on university owned, operated or affiliated housing and only 32 percent do at Southern Connecticut State University, according to usnews.com.
There are also private housing options for students close to the campus, such as the Oaks on the Square, Reitz said.
“There are a lot of different options for people if they want to live on campus or off campus,” Reitz said.