From a full-service Starbucks in Mortensen Library, to an attractive new classroom and performance space at The Hartt School, to new brick walkways outside the Harry Jack Gray Center, this summer's construction projects have brought a variety of improvements to campus.
Microgrid Project: The University has completed work on a “microgrid” project that connects the entire campus electrical system to the emergency diesel generators located alongside East Hall. All campus buildings except for Bates House — including all residence halls — are now connected to the emergency generators. That will allow the University to continue normal operations and full residential occupancy in the event of an extended power outage.
Starbucks: A sleek, new, full-service Starbucks in Mortensen Library — to be known as “Starbucks at the Goodwin Café” — has been under construction this summer, and will open for business on Monday, Aug. 31.
Harry Jack Gray Center: Attractive, new brick walkways were installed in the courtyard of the Harry Jack Gray Center, and irrigation and drainage repairs were made. In addition, the roof on the East Wing was replaced.
Fuller Music Center (The Hartt School): As part of The Hartt School’s multi-year Fuller@50 project, workers transformed Room 21 of the Fuller Music Center. The room had housed a large organ, but the last Hartt organ major graduated in May, and the organ has been sold to a church on Long Island, said Associate Hartt Dean David Bell. A large window has been added to the room, along with choral risers, new lighting, and acoustical treatments. The newly renovated facility will be able to serve multiple purposes, including space for both choral and instrumental performances, classroom space, and space for special programs and guest lectures, Bell said. Also this summer, workers renovated several piano practice rooms and offices in the Fuller Music Center.
Hartford Art School: Construction work is scheduled to be completed by Labor Day on the Helen S Kaman Print Study Center, funded by a $300,000 grant from The Charles H. Kaman Charitable Foundation, Inc. The 500+ sq. ft., temperature- and humidity-controlled space in Taub Hall will house the more than 2,000 prints in the HAS collection that are now in storage and difficult to access. The works on paper include prints, drawings, photographs, and artist’s books. A museum collections professional will catalog the entire collection (including setting up a database, condition reports, and photographs). The official opening of the center is scheduled for late February 2016.
Regents Park/Physical Therapy: Planning and design work are underway for a renovation of the first floor of the north wing of the Regents Park residence hall, to provide additional space for the University’s growing physical therapy program. The Regents Park space will be used by second- and third-year graduate students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, said Catherine Certo, chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. The renovated space will include three large clinical teaching laboratories, as well as faculty offices. Construction work is expected to begin during the winter break, and is scheduled for completion by June 2016.
E-Complex – Twelve bathrooms in two of the E-Complex residence halls underwent a facelift and modernization this summer in order to create additional first-year student housing for this year's large freshman class.
Park River – Workers renovated all of the kitchens in the Park River residence hall, including new countertops, cabinets, appliances, and flooring. The hot water system also was replaced.