“Moment of History”: University of Bridgeport’s Schine Hall to be demolished and construction of new residence hall begins on Friday, April 24

“Moment of History”: University of Bridgeport’s Schine Hall to be demolished and construction of new residence hall begins on Friday, April 24

the towering residence hall that for more than two decades stood as a symbolic and physical point of thriving activity and vibrant cultural change at the University of Bridgeport, will start to be demolished on Friday, April 24, moments after officials break ground on a glittering new residence hall, signaling a new era at the Long Island Sound campus.

The historic events begin at 11:30 a.m., when students excavate the first shovelfuls of soil at 41 Rennell Street, the site of UB’s newest residence hall.

Moments later, demolition will begin at Schine Hall.

Dozens of alumni are expected for the event and for a special “Schine Down 2015” reunion at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, April 26 at UB.

“This is a symbolic moment of history and new construction at the University of Bridgeport,” said Vice President of Facilities George Estrada.

“Schine Hall is a place of memories, but reopening and reconstruction of the building to meet expectations and needs of today’s students is unfeasible. The new residence hall will better serve UB’s ever-evolving campus.”

The new residence hall will open in the fall 2016.

Student Residences for the Future

Sustainably designed by Antinozzi Associates of Bridgeport, the new four-story residence hall will house 220 students in suites and traditional bedrooms. The 60,000-square-foot building will also feature social amenity rooms and support services.

Construction by KBE Construction Company of Farmington, CT, is slated to be complete by June 2016.

The new building is located across the street from Schine. The 10-floor, brick-and-concrete residence hall was closed in 1992, but in its heyday, it was adorned with psycodellic murals by students who hosted lavish parties on its private rooftop and in its suites, game rooms, and various wings.

“I lived there my freshman year in 1988, on the ninth floor,” said alumnus Scott Miller ’92. “It was a great place to live. You had so many different personalities and freedom. My fraternity brothers all lived in that dorm. Good friends I’m still friends with today lived in that dorm. One of my friends is married to his spouse, and they both lived in Schine. The parties were legendary.

“But all good things have to come to an end. It’s an old building. They need to modernize, and it’s good to see UB moving in the right direction. Bigger and better things are coming.”

Schine Down Reunion

Miller said he is one many alumni who will attend the Schine Down reunion on Sunday. It will feature a barbeque, music, commemorative T-shirts, and other events. For more information, email alumni@brigeport.edu.

Sunday’s festivities belie Schine’s controversial beginnings.

When plans for the 500-person residence hall were unveiled in 1969, students organized full-throated sit-in protests. Construction went on as planned, however, and Schine opened in 1971. It was named after Isaac E. Schine, one of the founders of the Junior College of Connecticut, UB’s precursor. Schine served on the Board of Trustees through 1947 and on the Board of Directors at Bridgeport Hospital.

The new residence hall has not yet been named, but there are naming opportunities for the building and its various facilities, said University Relations Vice President Mary-Jane Foster.

“UB’s buildings and their names – Schine, Trefz, Barnum, Littlefield, and more — reflect the proud heritage of those who built this campus and made an important and lasting impact on its future,” Foster said. “We’re excited to have the new residence hall continue in that tradition as we look toward a bright and prosperous future.”
Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu