Flexer Helps Cut Ribbon on UConn’s ‘Nextgen’ Residence Hall
MANSFIELD—State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) today helped cut the ribbon on a new 210,000-square-foot residence hall at UConn specifically designed to house students studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, areas of study which are seen as an integral part of UConn’s growing preeminence in science and technology and a key component of Connecticut’s economic future.
“NextGen Hall” is the first building completed under the Next Generation Connecticut initiative, which Sen. Flexer voted for in 2013 as a member of the state House of Representatives. As the first, new on-campus residence built in 13 years, NextGen Hall is part of Connecticut’s $1.5 billion Next Generation Connecticut initiative, which seeks to develop UConn’s preeminence in research and innovation programs, hire and support outstanding faculty, and train and educate graduates in STEM-related fields of study.
“Innovation is a key driver in our economy, and what UConn is doing here with this new learning community is going to be really critical for the state’s future. This is truly an investment, not only in our university, but in our state’s business community,” Sen. Flexer, who is a UConn graduate, told the assembled crowd at today’s ceremony on the Storrs campus. “The UConn graduates who live in this dorm will be the scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs that will drive our future and jump-start the innovation economy that we are laying the groundwork for through our new Innovation Place initiative. The collaboration that happens here, at this university, in this dormitory, will then spread to our cities and to our towns like Willimantic, Putnam and Danielson. This is a tremendous accomplishment and very exciting, and I congratulate the university.”
While UConn officially opened the residence hall today, freshmen residents are expected to move in Friday, with upperclassmen and transfer students moving in over the weekend. All the students in NextGen Hall will belong to a faculty-led ‘learning community,’ a themed group designed to bridge students’ academic, co-curricular, and residential experiences. Students living in NextGen Hall will dine in the Putnam Refectory, which has also been renovated this summer.
NextGen Hall also meets the standards for the LEED Silver designation; ‘green’ features include a roof garden; channels that direct water to rain gardens; sun shades up the sides of the building to regulate temperature; a white roof to reflect the sun; heat recovery units and solar panels to heat the water; and photovoltaic panels to help supply electricity.