In 2014, the University of Connecticut embarked on a process to envision the ongoing transformation of its campus over the next two decades. The new Campus Master Plan, developed in collaboration with university stakeholders and the Town of Mansfield, supports UConn’s growing research enterprise and interdisciplinary initiatives, fostering collaboration and innovation within the rural setting of the campus. The master plan has enabled UConn to benefit from Next Generation Connecticut, a statute that will provide more than $1.5 billion of additional funding for the university’s capital program.
UConn’s growth has historically favored outward expansion rather than reinvestment in its existing assets across 443 acres. In response, SOM’s master plan identifies major initiatives for buildings, open space, and infrastructure with respect to their impact on the campus at large, redefining how the university identifies and understands the boundary of a project. By focusing on the renewal and reinvestment of existing infrastructure, the master plan conserves and enhances the university’s distinctive landscape to support to sustainability, student health, and wellness, while at the same time allowing for new investments to meet the demands of rising enrollment.
New, multipurpose campus precincts are a key feature of the master plan. By bringing together spaces for teaching, learning, living, research, and discovery, the precincts create vibrant corridors that offer a variety of academic and social experiences. These are supported by a strengthened academic core of central student services, reimagined to serve as a crossroads for collaboration. The plan prioritizes pedestrians by improving heavily trafficked corridors and crossings, limiting cars to a primary campus loop with parking areas distributed at the periphery.
Approved in 2015, the master plan has allowed the university to reimagine its physical campus while changing the way decisions are made about new capital projects, including the Innovation Partnership Building located at UConn’s new Technology Park. The result is a campus that is restorative, memorable, and inspiring for students, faculty, and staff.