Trustees meet in NextGen Hall as state cuts loom

The UConn Board of Trustees met Wednesday morning in NextGen Hall to discuss how Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget proposal would affect construction projects on campus. Several updated construction contracts were updated at the meeting. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees approved several updated construction contracts at a brief meeting in the university’s newest dormitory on Wednesday morning.

At the meeting, UConn President Susan Herbst said that while Gov. Dannel Malloy’s recent proposal of a 7 percent reduction in state funding over the next two years could have been much worse, it still raises concerns.

“We are very concerned about the effect another round of significant cuts will have on our students, the quality of education we are able to offer and our place in the rankings,” Herbst said.

The largest item approved was a final budget of $25 million for infrastructure and utility upgrades for the center of campus. Utility rerouting will be required by the recently completed demolition of Connecticut Commons Residence Halls. The same budget also covers the demolition of four historic houses (known by many as “Faculty Row” or “Greek Row”) on Whitney Road and Gilbert Road, to be completed this spring.

The trustees also approved a $3.9 million budget for renovations to the first floor of Homer Babbidge Library, a revised planning budget of $4.75 million for upgrades to athletic facilities and a final plan of $5.5 million for renovations to Benjamin Franklin Koons Hall.

The trustees met Wednesday in NextGen Hall, a new residence hall that began housing students in fall 2016. UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said this was to showcase the new building.

“Students are incredibly happy here,” Herbst said. “It’s got everything they need including many study rooms for when they don’t feel like going to the library at two in the morning.”

The meetings of the Academic Affairs Committee, Financial Affairs Committee and the Board took less than 80 minutes total.

The trustees’ next meeting is on Mar. 29.  All subsequent meetings planned for this year will take place in the Lewis B. Rome Commons Ballroom.


Christopher McDermott is the news editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.mcdermott@uconn.edu.