NEW BRITAIN -With the first week of classes completed, most Central Connecticut State University students have already been exposed to some of the changes around campus, while other updates are still a work in progress.
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Sal Cintorino is currently serving as the interim chief facilities officer, which is a role that involves overseeing construction projects on campus.
“The transition into the new year has been phenomenal,” Cintorino said.
Cintorino detailed several completed and ongoing projects around campus, most of which are a part of a ten-year master plan that began around 2010.
Projects featured in this plan that have already been completed previously to this year include renovations to the Willard-DiLoreto complex, the Mid-Campus Residence Hall, Hilltop Dining Facility, a new nursing lab, a new food pantry facility and renovations to a social sciences hall that has since been named Ebenezer Bassett Hall after the first African-American graduate.
One of the most recent aspects of this master plan is a complete remodeling of the first floor of Memorial Hall that was finished this summer.
The remodeling created a state of the art study lounge area and a new e-sports lab, Cintorino said.
“Walking around it’s like you’re in a different world,” Cintorino said.
The e-sports lab will be having a grand opening on Sept. 6.
Another new addition that will be completed this semester is the Huang Recreation Center.
The new recreation center is a $26 million project that after 18 months of development replaces the outdated Kaiser Annex Bubble.
“It’s something for our student body for a health and wellness perspective,” Cintorino said.
There are more projects that will be completed in the near future as well.
Groundbreaking for a new engineering building will take place on Sept. 12 and construction is expected to take 24 months.
According to Cintorino, CCSU President Dr. Zulma R. Toro was able to personally assist in the early stages of preparation for this new building.
“With a background in engineering she gave some important insight into this project,” Cintorino said.
He went on to say that he expects the new engineering building to be an attraction for recruiting purposes.
A $22 million renovation project to Henry Barnard Hall is expected to be completed within the next 16 months. Cintorino said he believes this project is overdue and will be received well by the students.
“It was a building that was aged, so it’ll be nice when the students see it again,” Cintorino said.
Another student-oriented development is a 15 thousand sq. ft. addition to the campus library. According to Cintorino that project is still in the programming phase.
“We’re just trying to meet the needs of the students,” Cintorino said.
The recently completed projects have made campus easier for students to navigate this semester, Cintorino said.
“Before kids had to hike all over campus to get what they need,” Cintorino said. “Now it’s all in one place.”
A project to combat issues with parking around campus has just moved beyond the programming stage and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
“It will certainly take some stress off of parking,” Cintorino said.
The plan is for an over 600 space parking garage that will connect to the new Willard-DiLoreto complex through a walkway that passes over Paul Manafort Senior Drive.
Cintorino admitted that construction on campus is a lengthy ordeal but that the process is nearing completion.
“We’re at that point now where it’s all coming together, the money is already there,” Cintorino said. “It’s a long process certainly, but there’s a bright horizon.”
Updates regarding sporting news, programmatic additions, official enrollment numbers and changes pertaining to the handling of sexual misconduct complaints will be coming throughout the next few weeks.
Adam Hushin can be reached at 860-801-5046 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.