Renewal at the University of Bridgeport
The University of Bridgeport Offers a Renewed Student Experience on Campus
With $50 million invested in capital improvements since 2007, the University of Bridgeport is experiencing a “Renewal” with a capital “R”!
The sweeping renovations stretch across campus, impacting the student experience from classroom hallways to pedestrian sidewalks. A renewed commitment across the UB community also stretches – through the Board of Trustees, the President, administration, donors, Alumni Association, faculty, staff, and local business community – to make it all possible.
“We’ve been trying, as hard as we can, to make every part of the campus support the life and the activities of our students,” said President Neil Salonen to the UB community at the opening of the relocated Bookstore.
Leading the myriad renovation projects at a near-dizzying pace has been George Estrada, Vice President of Facilities.
“As we developed the plans for each of our renovations,” says Estrada, “we’ve tried to retain the character of the University.” In the “Renewal” video above, he explains how the campus footprint has been enhanced by new and/or renovated:
- Sidewalks and arrivals, seating walls, and “pocket parks”
- Technology in the classrooms
- Science labs
- Wahlstrom Library with a SASD-designed library commons incorporating Cafe Scribe
- Fones School of Dental Hygiene, which was relocated to the Health Sciences Center
- Ernest C. Trefz School of Business
- Bookstore, which was relocated to a commercial retail space in the Student Center, and an expanded Knights End in the same building
- Marina Dining Hall
- Wheeler Recreation Center
- Student collaboration areas
Karissa Peckham, Dean of Admissions, points out that UB’s undergraduate student body has grown from 2,200+ in 2009 to 3,000+ in 2014. The additional 800 residential students on campus has led to “currently the most exciting phase” of renovations, according to Estrada: a new residential building construction slated for occupancy in Fall 2016.
“If I am proud of anything over the last five years,” says Mary-Jane Foster, Vice President of University Relations, “it’s about the increased engagement of the entire community around the University of Bridgeport. And it starts at the top with the Trustees, the President, the Cabinet, the faculty, the staff, the local business community – everybody has really come together in support of this University.”
“It’s vibrant. It’s dynamic. And the more people there are, the more dynamic it becomes,” she adds. “Our circle is bigger and bigger and bigger, and that is a wonderful thing. And it is the job of a University to be that thought center, to be the resource for the region.”