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By Alyssa Hughes
This Wednesday, the University of Connecticut held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Engineering and Science building expected to occupy the Storrs campus.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy joined UConn President Susan Herbst and other local representatives to speak on behalf of the opportunities the new building is expected to bring.
“Having this building at the heart of campus is making a very clear statement that UConn is ready to drive innovation, to catalyze research advances and to continue the momentum we’ve already picked up as a source for new and path breaking advances and research,” Herbst said.
The building will provide new opportunities for research as the university prepares for the 100th anniversary of its 4-year engineering instruction program in 2016.
The building will include facilities for high-tech fields such as virtual reality, bioengineering, and nanomaterials.
Malloy said the five-story, 118,000 square-foot building is expected to not only benefit UConn but Connecticut as well.
“This level of investment is what is appropriate to make sure that we can guarantee the kinds of stimulates becoming engineers, are getting their degrees, staying in Connecticut and building our economy for us,” he said.
Of the roughly $1.5 billion currently invested in UConn by Next Generation Connecticut, $35 million will go towards the new building. An additional $60 million will come from the 21st century UConn fund.
“I believe this university needs to grow and by growing drives Connecticut’s economy as well,” Malloy said.
Speaking at the ceremony, State Senator Mae Flexer said the building would create more 1-to-1 interactions with professors.
Malloy said preparation for the future is essential.
“We need to make sure that we are dynamic, we are leading, that we are preparing a workforce for the challenges of the future as well as the present,” he said. “This is what investment and the future feels like.”
The building is expected to be completed by 2017.