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UConn to add housing to Stamford campus

Storrs — The UConn Board of Trustees Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to add apartment-style housing to its Stamford campus.

UConn will pay $2.67 million in the first year of a 25-year lease of the residential portion of a mixed-use development at 900 Washington Blvd., about two blocks south of the campus. The six-story building, which is expected to be ready in the fall of 2017, will have 116 units housing about 290 students.

Susan Herbst, UConn president, said the housing would bring "new vibrancy to a campus that is already vibrant."

"It will give our students affordable housing in close proximity ... to our Stamford campus," she said.

The expected costs of the new student housing are $995 a month per bed in a shared bedroom and $1,248 per month in a single. UConn said average rents in Stamford were $1,900 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,700 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

"This is a great day for UConn, a great day for Stamford and most importantly a great day for our students," said Larry McHugh, chairman of the board of trustees.

Michael Pollard, chief of staff for Stamford Mayor David Martin, thanked the board for its investment, and said the city now joined the likes of Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport in having dedicated housing for its college students. Last year the Stamford campus enrolled 1,565 undergraduates and 500 graduate students.

"This is really also about the future, the future both of the University of Connecticut in Stamford as well as the city of Stamford," Pollard said. "This is a … bright and vibrant community, but the commitment that has been made really adds to that the opportunity for future growth."

Thomas Kruger, a Stamford resident who joined the board of trustees five years ago, said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy pressed him about plans for the campus in the city where he used to be mayor.

"I think we have responded to that challenge and I think we've responded well," Kruger said. "Many are aware of the exciting additions to curricula down in Stamford in the business area and the digital arts area. I think this next step that we're taking – which is the establishment of a student dorm – is just the next exciting step."

UConn does not provide housing at its other regional campuses. But university leaders have expressed hope that students who will be attending the new downtown Hartford campus might be able to rent nearby newly constructed apartments.

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