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Hotel Plans, Road Extension
to be Topic of Public Meeting
March 13, 2000

A meeting to discuss the proposed hotel and conference center, construction of an extension of Bolton Road, and possible construction of a connector road from Bolton Road Extender to South Eagleville Road, will take place in room 3, Bishop Center on Tuesday, March 14, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The meeting, which will feature blueprints for the hotel, will be hosted by Vicky L. Triponey, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Karla H. Fox, associate vice chancellor of university affairs and co-chair of the Master Plan Advisory Committee.

The hotel is part of a long-term goal of making the University more accessible to visitors.

To be built on land adjacent to the Rome Commons Building in South Campus Dormitory complex, the hotel could be completed in 18 months. It will provide the University not only with hotel rooms for guests, parents, alumni, and others, but also with a 4,000-square-foot conference center that can be used alone or in conjunction with South Campus.

Designed to look like South Campus, it will be built by Robert Friedman of Norwich, co-owner of the Norwich Navigators, and Meristar, one of the largest managers of hotels in the nation. Meristar manages a number of academic conference centers, including the Forrestal Hotel at Princeton University and the Toledo Hilton near the Medical College of Ohio.

Features of the UConn hotel will include a 60 to 90-seat restaurant, 120 to 150 beds, an indoor pool and exercise room, and a 150-car parking lot. It will have the qualities of a four-star hotel, according to Friedman, in his proposal to the University.

Other plans to be discussed include extending Bolton Road, which now runs from E.O. Smith High School and the fine arts complex to the Communication Sciences Building, so that it links with Hillside Road. The extension would eliminate the need to drive close to the core of campus and wind around a series of roads in order to reach Hillside Road.

There will also be discussion of the possibility of a new road that would connect the extension of Bolton Road to South Eagleville Road. The proposed road, suggested by consultants in both the first and second phases of the master planning process, would parallel Eastwood Road. If constructed, it would permit consideration of making Hillside, Eastwood and Westwood Roads into a cul de sac, making them accessible only from South Eagleville Road.

The three roads could be converted to a dead end only if the new road was constructed, Fox says, because the University cannot rely on Route 195 as the only campus exit from south campus.

"It is important for public safety reasons to have an exit from campus that connects directly with South Eagleville Road," Fox says. "With the new road, we could accomplish that and, at the same time, eliminate through traffic to campus on Hillside, Eastwood and Westwood Roads. The two projects are very closely linked."

Karen A. Grava