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  March 26, 2001

Alumni House Expansion to Include
Alumni Library, Sports Museum

A 12,000 square foot extension to the Alumni House, doubling its size and adding a new sports museum and an alumni library, will be completed by Homecoming weekend this October.

A groundbreaking ceremony, rescheduled because of bad weather, will take place on April 18 at 5 p.m.

The three-story addition, to be built into the hill between the existing Alumni House and the Field House on the Storrs campus, will be a

symbol of the expanding role of the Alumni Association, says John Feudo, executive director of the Alumni Association.

He says plans for the addition began with the development 18 months ago of the association's strategic plan.

"The Alumni House sits next to the Visitors Center at the new entrance to campus, where it is a destination for people coming to our campus and a nexus for the entire University community," Feudo says. "The expansion of the house represents an evolution of both the purpose of the building and the mission of the association: to serve the needs of all members of our community."

The expansion will include the

J. Robert Donnelly Husky Heritage Sports Museum, which is named for Donnelly, Class of 1941, a UConn sports legend in football and basketball and a successful attorney. Donnelly, who established endowments for sports scholarships and received the Red O'Neill Award, has given annually to a UConn graduate who has moved from athletics to a distinguished career.

The museum will feature photos, videos, plaques, banners, uniforms and other memorabilia, including NCAA national championship trophies of the men's and women's basketball teams and the men's soccer team.

The entryway to the addition will be an alumni hall of fame to commemorate alumni volunteers, award winners, association presidents, and others who represent a history of excellence, Feudo says.

There will be an alumni library to showcase books written by alumni, yearbooks, and provide computers where alumni can log on to University and association websites, career information sites, and other UConn resources.

The extension will also include alumni staff offices, meeting rooms, and space for conferences and activities of campus groups, alumni groups, and student groups.

The project will include renovation of the existing Alumni House, including expansion of the large reception room on the ground floor. "We have more than 400 events a year going on at the house now - more than one a day," Feudo says. "When the house opened in 1989, it was rarely used except for Alumni Association meetings. But we know that there is a need for even more activities than we are able to accommodate now and we would like to enhance the space so that all members of the University community will feel welcome."

Feudo said that housing the sports museum in the addition will bring 50,000 visitors to the Alumni House each year. "This is definitely a way to enhance Alumni Association membership, services, and products and is indicative of our great partnership with athletics," he said.

The addition, which is being built privately on 11 acres deeded to the Alumni Association by the Board of Trustees, meets the University's design standards and is being constructed by the FIP Construction Company with private funding.

Karen A. Grava