Special To The Herald
NEW BRITAIN - With doors set to open in January, Central Connecticut construction is on track for the big reveal of its two new and improved academic buildings.
The $62 million Willard-DiLoreto Halls project, which is being funded by bonds issued by the state, will feature 21 departments including English, modern languages, veteran affairs, and financial aid.
“We’re moving along as scheduled… much of the work is now focused on the inside of the buildings, CCSU President Zulma Toro said. “The expected move-in will take place early next year, and we can’t wait.”
According to James Grupp, director of engineering at CCSU, who oversees the construction, the building will be completed and ready for use by January of 2019.
“All the brick is done on the building, the exterior is being buttoned up, sheetrock is going up, and we have some mock-up rooms that are done,” Grupp said. “There’s just been a tremendous amount of progress that’s been done.”
Though improvements are currently being made, students can still expect to see the project in the works when they return for classes at the end of August.
“For the fall, (students) will see the exterior of the building almost done, there will be pavement that’s done outside, [although] the fence will still be up. There’s still a few window walls that need to be installed. What (students) won’t see is what’s going on inside the building.”
Toro was enthusiastic about the cosmetic improvements students will see, saying that the campus will soon have a “beautiful outdoor spaces to socialize, better connectivity through WiFi and upgraded living and academic space.”
Aside from this two-building project, Grupp said other construction ideas are in the works as well.
“The Rec Center is in progress, which is due to be done next summer. There’s Barnard Hall which is in the design phase. There’s a lot of projects that are in the design phase that we’re working on.”
One of the other projects currently in the design phase Grupp mentioned is engineering due to the fact that the major is one of the fastest growing on-campus. Grupp said he hopes to begin the project by 2020.
Barnard Hall, however, which houses the School of Education and Professional Studies, will immediately begin renovation after the completion of the Willard-DiLoreto building.
The goal of this multimillion-dollar project, Dr. Toro said, is to bring the departments students need to one central location.
“I expect Willard-DiLoreto will become the heart of our student services. I refer to it as the Student Success Center, because just about every support students need to succeed academically will be located within those buildings,” Dr. Toro said.
For now, however, the CCSU family will have to wait those six more months before entering into its new academic home.