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Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:02 pm
by newbritainite
https://www.ccsu.edu/admaffairs/files/C ... -Final.pdf


This is from 2012.

It appears that most of the projects are complete.

HOWEVER,
there are space shortages yet to be addressed:

- about 110,000 sf of interior space for athletics (“arena”)
- about 56,000 at the student center
- 388 bed of residential space shortfall.

There is hope for an arena!

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:30 pm
by J.J.
newbritainite wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:02 pm https://www.ccsu.edu/admaffairs/files/C ... -Final.pdf


This is from 2012.

It appears that most of the projects are complete.

HOWEVER,
there are space shortages yet to be addressed:

- about 110,000 sf of interior space for athletics (“arena”)
- about 56,000 at the student center
- 388 bed of residential space shortfall.

There is hope for an arena!
So does anyone think it is acceptable that we have a plan that is nearly a decade old posted on our website?

This is what I've been saying for years - we have NO PLAN.

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:29 pm
by newbritainite
J.J. wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:30 pm
newbritainite wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:02 pm https://www.ccsu.edu/admaffairs/files/C ... -Final.pdf


This is from 2012.

It appears that most of the projects are complete.

HOWEVER,
there are space shortages yet to be addressed:

- about 110,000 sf of interior space for athletics (“arena”)
- about 56,000 at the student center
- 388 bed of residential space shortfall.

There is hope for an arena!
So does anyone think it is acceptable that we have a plan that is nearly a decade old posted on our website?

This is what I've been saying for years - we have NO PLAN.

So I take that you don’t like Dr. Toro?

I think these three items are up next.

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:43 am
by Skyhawkct
I have just a little experience in developing master plans. 😉 So let me chime in.

Master plans in general are usually prepared to satisfy local zoning requirements to help both the institution and the municipality in which it lies prepare for future development.

However, this is not a master plan. Rather, as you guys noted in the heading, it’s a “Program for a master plan” and is predominantly a space need analysis. I’ve worked in the transportation planning field for over forty years both for the government and in private industry and I’m not familiar with this term.

I don’t know the requirements set forth by the city of New Britain but I do know the city planner (a CCSU graduate by the way who studied urban planning with me back in Wells Street days) so maybe I’ll touch base with him if he hasn’t retired by now. Maybe he can shed some light.

Notice Page 3, Paragraph 3 where it states: “A more detailed analysis may be conducted prior to implementing specific projects”. The statement should read “…SHALL be conducted…” because CEPA (The Connecticut Environmental Policy Act) would require it, especially if initial findings for the specific project determine an increase in traffic is likely.

Even if a full blown master plan is developed, it would be just that…a plan and plans change all the time. I don’t know how imminent these remaining projects are. I doubt if any are imminent and, beating this poor dead horse again, if an arena is built in my life time, I’m going to need a couple of you younger guys to help me with a walker to attend the opening ceremonies.

It’s much more complicated than what I’m explaining here but you get the idea. Don’t place too much hope that the remaining projects will be done any time soon.

Having said all this, it’s fine to have a 10 year old document on the web site as long as the base data hasn’t changed. However, the target year is 2022 which looks bad for the university. If were an administrator at CCSU, I would hire a consultant to review the document and based on the findings, change the cover page and target year, to reflect the update. It would definitely look better for the school.

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:17 am
by J.J.
Sky - thanks for the context, I know you have a lot of info on this. As a fellow geography/planning major at CCSU, I agree that the document, however it is being presented should be updated.

My understanding is there was a huge issue at BOR level when all 4 State University plans were put out to bid. Again, the State bureaucracy CCSU faces is unlike anything at UConn. UConn is basically a quasi-independent state agency, whereas CCSU is a Bureau within a Division, of an Office, regulated by multiple Boards.

Anyone on this board knows my complaints about facilities, planning and budgeting goes back to previous administrations and Chief Administrative Office. This problem didn't start with Toro at all - it is a decades old issue that hasn't been addressed.

My issue with Toro right now is she has been silent on this issue (and athletics). Sure, she was give a ton of challenges when she arrive and she's handled some thing well. My problem is these are things that have been ongoing and can be fixed by showing leadership and delegating to those that can fix this.

Here is the UConn Master Plan webpage - https://masterplan.uconn.edu/
Or how about the Towson Master Plan - https://www.towson.edu/facilities/masterplan/

Now compare that to what CCSU has and you can see why Central is so far behind ....

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:06 pm
by Skyhawkct
Oh I know…Don’t get me going.

I get it. You know that I had to pull Bachoo and his boss into my office because I refused to sign off on an earlier master plan due to way outdated data. The plan sucked probably because it was a rehash and the budget didn’t allow for an up to date study.

UConn basically has a blank check in everything…including skirting state statues.

I was involved in the planning of the roadways around Rentchler. I CANNOT believe what UConn was allowed to get away with, especially from the state DEP.

The preliminary HAZMAT study was off the charts!

Meanwhile our little Arute Field was held up for years because of proximity (no impact mind you) to a local water source (Barbour Falls).

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:29 pm
by newbritainite
https://www.ccsu.edu/admaffairs/files/C ... ations.pdf

From 3.13.14

This indicates a change to the master plan which mostly reallocated funding for a massive library expansion and East Campus infrastructure … TO :

- engineering building
-“Bassett Hall”
- residence hall on campus

What about the East Campus?! This was supposed to be apart of / support the FASTRACK?

They need to update the master plan.

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:05 pm
by J.J.
NB - exactly!

We haven't heard anything about "East Campus" in a]more than a decade! See a theme here? Every 10+ years or so before ideas/plans are forgotten with little progress ever made,

I'm sure it is a budgetary or environmental issue - but there is private development going on in the surrounding parcels near the Cedar Street station

https://portal.ct.gov/CEQ/DAS/Scoping-N ... ast-Campus

I'd suggest that our CCSU alum and Mayor of New Britain step in, but that land is in Newington.


BTW - Here is the last "Master Plan" that still hasn't been updated https://www.ccsu.edu/admaffairs/files/MasterPlan.pdf

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:19 pm
by Skyhawkct
We will never see the East Campus (at least I won’t anyway) NB and JJ.

Although CCSU owns the land, there are too many issues including wetland encroachment and constructability as much of the land is protected AND is not conducive to construction and vehicular/pedestrian access.

That piece of property is cut off from the main campus. A pedestrian bridge would be problematic due to the elevation of Route 9 and traffic volumes at the intersection of the old Wells St, Cedar Street and RT. 9 are way too high to provide for any safe at grade access.

Yeah, I worked on the FASTRAK project and the east campus was part of the EIS/EIE, but the project didn’t hang on the construction of the campus.

Personally, I think CCSU should sell as much of the property that is sellable.

Where I think Central COULD have made a move was the purchase of the property just south of Stop and Shop. I understand that the property was finally sold to a developer for residential use. That’s probably the private development you mentioned.

The master plan posted is pretty much the one I couldn’t approve on behalf of the CTDOT around 2005. They hired another consultant to simply rehash this old document.

If memory serves me correctly, they tried to pass off that old rehashed master plan as an updated EIE where it died because the data was so outdated.

I’m not 100% sure but I think that was the case. I’m old now and I can’t even remember where I left my car keys. 😝

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:41 pm
by J.J.
Sky - Agree 100%

I never really liked the "East Campus" plan because it was so far removed from the campus by the highway and wetlands as you describe. I was happy because CCSU was willing to think outside the box. I would have preferred some downtown campus offices and development, if needed, but I know that previous Presidents didn't want anything to do with Downtown NB. Ultimately, the East Campus idea was a failure because the State never supported or helped Central in any way and this was something we already owned. Bottom line, a lot of planning $$ and time was wasted in a low-odds gambit and we have zero to show for it now. Sell what we can for the $$$ now.

CCSU university-focused opportunities in Newington was really limited to the parcels from the corner of East St./Cedar Rd. along Fenn Road to the highway entrance. I'm hearing some more private development, but it is going to be a budget long-stay hotel and a car wash? I know this area isn't West Hartford, but the quality of all the development in that area leaves a lot to be desired.

https://www.wtnh.com/news/new-developme ... newington/

I think another idea that fell apart for legal/political/other issues was the school's planned purchase of Essex Tower. Now that would have been a absolute home run! That would have added much need residential space to the campus. It would have extend our footprint along East Street.

This is where we have failed once again. CCSU/State of Connecticut should have be been buying up all the parcels they could along East Street from the new Police Department (old Park and Ride lot) up to the East St. Fastrack Station. New Britain should create an overlay zone along the corridor for "University Development" that would allow public and private developments that complement the university.

Instead they build a ugly Dollar Store on prime real estate adjacent to campus and across from Elmers. Only at CCSU in New Britain would they let this happen. In this case, the City and State owns a lot of blame as CCSU hasn't the $$$ to buy property and be a developer. As local neighbors rightfully complain of CCSU parties encroaching on the residential Belvedere neighborhood, why haven't we developed East Street as a University neighborhood?

Can you ever imagine if we developed the surrounding areas to CCSU, as they did in Storrs?
http://storrscenter.com/
https://www.blacklinere.com/property/storrs-center-ct/
https://www.leylandalliance.com/storrs-center

Again, maybe the Mayor (a CCSU grad) and others can use the University as the center of a development plan in the future.

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:51 pm
by Skyhawkct
JJ and company…I’m not saying we should be thankful for what we have BUT could have been A LOT worse.

There was a time when RT 9 was planned to cut right through the golf course AND Arute virtually robbing CCSU of all the land that is now used for track and field (off of Barbour Road), football, soccer, baseball and softball.

I was a young lowly Transportation Planner 1 or Planner 2 at the time. It was a long time ago and I was given very little to say about the location of the expressway but I did tell my many bosses about the difficulty they will have selling it to the public through the CEPA public review process.

Can you imagine RT 9 right next to the Arute parking lot? It could have happened. 😬

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 11:39 am
by newbritainite
Skyhawk…” Can you imagine RT 9 right next to the Arute parking lot? It could have happened. 😬

Im glad that you “tackled” that potential problem with CCSUfans! :p

Re: Program For The Master Plan

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:42 pm
by J.J.
Peeked in on the Merrimack-NJIT game on ESPN3 and the NJIT gym looks great on TV. Wish we had something like that ...

No crowd to speak of, but the facilities is top notch for this level.