December 14, 2018

UConn trustees to consider $375K sale of former Torrington campus

Photo | UConn
Photo | UConn
A view of UConn's former Torrington campus.

UConn's board of trustees next week is expected to discuss selling off another vacant campus branch in Torrington for $375,000.

The meeting scheduled Monday at 11:45 a.m. comes about two months after UConn completed the $5.2 million sale of its vacant West Hartford campus to global fintech Ideanomics, which plans to build a $283 million headquarters for technology and innovation there.

The 21-member board voted in April 2016 to close the Torrington campus following that spring semester due to its inability to attract enough students. No longer in need of the land and buildings on-site, school administrators are seeking authorization to negotiate a $375,000 sale to nonprofit Five Points Center for the Visual Arts Inc., to the city of Torrington, or a combination of both.

UConn and Five Points recently inked a letter of intent for the sale, which will be presented to board members on Monday. The nonprofit has plans to repurpose the campus as an arts education destination for aspiring artists, school officials said.

Under the deal, Five Points would occupy 5 acres in the core campus that includes two buildings and a maintenance garage. UConn may convey about 85 acres of undeveloped acres on the west end of campus either to the city or to Five Points, which may itself convey the land to the city.

Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone last month signed a non-binding letter of intent with Five Points that would allow the city to use the undeveloped land

UConn would receive $275,000 at closing for the structures and abutting land, and the remaining $100,000 would be paid to the school for undeveloped land within the next decade.

Despite the sale, UConn will retain a campus presence. If approved, the school said it would still operate the Extension Center Building rent free through at least 2028.

UConn would also still own the wind tower on campus and use it for research. It will also retain ownership of the red steel sculpture on campus.

The board must approve the proposed agreement before it can move forward with the sale. The Litchfield County Superior Court also must approve the sale because the classroom building was constructed in 1965 using funds from the estate of a Torrington resident.

UConn said it is confident it would receive court approval given its plans to use the $375,000 from the sale for financial aid for students in Torrington and nearby communities.

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