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Architects set to unveil plans for downtown campus (Released: 11/7/95)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- University of Connecticut officials will unveil architect's renderings and scale models of the University's planned downtown Stamford campus Nov. 9 and announce a $10 million capital campaign for the campus to members of the Downstate Initiative's Area Advisory Committee.

The unveiling and announcement will take place during an 8 a.m. committee meeting at Champion International, located at the intersection of Tresser Boulevard and Atlantic Street in Stamford.

The announcement launching a capital campaign for the campus will be made by Denis Nayden, a UConn graduate and chairman and chief operating officer of GE Capital. Nayden will chair the effort to raise $10 million to support the downtown campus's students, faculty and programs. He will also announce several pledges already made to the effort and discuss the future of the campaign.

The presentation from designers with the architectural firm Perkins Eastman/Donegan will also be made later in the day to four other groups, including a public session scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Ferguson Library auditorium, at the intersection of Broad and Bedford streets. Presentations will also be delivered to faculty and staff of the Stamford campus at 11:30 a.m. in the library building on Scofieldtown Road, to members of the Stamford Partnership and to the Stamford Urban Development Commission.

The renderings and scale models promise to be spectacular, officials said.

"This is the first time the public will be able to see what we've been able to come up with," said Brad Perkins, a principal with the architectural firm. "It is a big, complex building in an exciting location, that lends itself to a simple, elegant solution."

That solution, encompassing nearly 250,000 square feet of space dedicated to offices, classrooms, meeting rooms and a library, involves sweeping roof lines, huge skylights, and a three-story glass wall that runs the length of the building's Broad Street facade, said Larry Schilling, UConn's director of facilities management.

"We tried to bring natural light throughout the building, so no matter where you are you see light," Schilling said. To accomplish this, architects designed the glass facade and placed three 250-by-20-foot skylights on the roof of the former Bloomingdale's, each located directly above stairwells that will carry the light to the first floor.

The first floor of the building will contain conference facilities, offices and break-out rooms for the Division of Extended and Continuing Education; offices for the master's degree in business administration (MBA) program and the executive MBA program; a bookstore; fitness center; and art gallery.

The second floor will house most of the classrooms and some administrative offices, and the third floor will comprise most of the campus's office space, some lecture halls, and research and teaching laboratories. The library and computer rooms will occupy a portion of the second and third floors, on the glass-walled side of the complex.

A 1,250-car parking garage adjacent to the property will also be repaired.

Groundbreaking for the project is expected to occur in the spring. The project is expected to be completed in time for the opening of school in September 1997.

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