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UConn Looks to 'Knit the Campus Together'

The state's flagship university will spend $2 million to create a new master plan to improve the "look and feel" of its Storrs campus.

The University of Connecticut is embarking on a process to create a new master plan for its campus. Credit: Corey Fyke
The University of Connecticut is embarking on a process to create a new master plan for its campus. Credit: Corey Fyke
The University of Connecticut is spending $2 million to create a new campus master plan with the goal of improving the "look and feel" of campus to give it a more distinct sense of place. 

The school's new master planner, Laura Cruickshank, who was hired away from Yale, said the process is part of the $1.5 billion Next Generation Connecticut plan announced earlier this year by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. She said in a Hartford Courant story Thursday that the goal of the master plan is to make sure the new investments in building and infrastructure "knits the campus together."

"It's definitely something I'm concerned about — 'look and feel' — and that's in quotes," Cruickshank said in the Courant. "'Look and feel' is a really important thing for any university campus, and coming here from Yale … [There's] a definite 'look and feel' at Yale. You knew where you were. I think that's definitely something we can improve upon here."

UConn has narrowed its choices to develop the master plan to three firms. Once one is chosen (expected in January), the plan will take about a year to develop.

Cruickshank said she's planning on an open process that includes soliciting opinions from students, faculty, staff and the public, but the final plan won't just focus on the outward appearance of the buildings.

"A good master plan will focus some on aesthetics, but not just on aesthetics," she said.

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