Today: Jun 18, 2024

Watching campus continue to develop

Sam Tapper Editor-in-Chief

I have always been incredibly close with my dad. Growing up – and even today – he always told me stories about the way things were when he was my age. One place that always sparked conversation was when he would take me through UConn’s campus in Storrs, his alma mater. 

Obviously, things have changed on that campus since 1990, so all of our drives through campus, or walks on our way to Gampel Pavilion, are always filled with recollection of the past, and marvel of the present and apparent future. My father is always quick to point out his “legendary” points of interest, like his old apartments or even his old newsroom at The Daily Campus. 

At the same time, though, he and I both are always amazed at the fact of how modernized that campus has become, bringing whole new levels of life and people. While UConn and this campus are vastly different on multiple fronts, from content to overall size, the current construction of the health and human services building makes me think: what will campus look like when I return here years down the line? 

I wonder this both near and far sightedly. I have been watching the health and human services building go up since University President Joe Bertolino and CSCU President Mark Ojakian broke ground. In fact, the very site the building sits on is where I had my learning community meetings during my first New Owl Weekend as a freshman. It is amusing to me that years from now, I can say I participated in my first icebreaker at the university in what will eventually be the basement of that building. 

Even after the health and human services building, the future plans in store for the campus in terms of construction make me wonder. With plans to build a new School of Business, on the residential quad where TE-6 currently stands, I wonder how the image and overall traffic of that side of campus will change.  

And perhaps what I am most excited for and what will almost surely bring me back to campus regularly: The Ballpark. For a few years there have been plans to renovate and expand The Ballpark, to add more seating and a full press box to the current facility. While I am sure it is at the very best third in line behind the building going up now and the next School of Business, it is a fun thought, because the Owls baseball team is deserving of a better home field. 

One day if I ever bring my kids back to campus for a baseball game, I can tell them that while the reporters are all nice and comfortable in the new press box, I covered games sitting on the bleachers, dealing with wind and sun, and freezing my tail off. Similar to the experiences I had at UConn with my dad. 

Things change; buildings change; people change. But memories and legacies will live on. And as I grow up, I am excited to come back and see how the campus – a home away from home – grows up too. 

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