Ribbon cut and time capsule installed at University Hall
After months of anticipation, University of Bridgeport officials officially opened the newest residence hall on campus in over four decades, celebrating the milestone with a ribbon-cutting and the installation of a time capsule filled with mementos selected to tell the current chapter in the unfolding history of the 89-year-old school.
“This is really a step forward for UB,” said Board of Trustees Co-Chairman Frank Zullo. “We’ve put over $65 million into this campus [in recent years] and it’s beginning to show it. So we’re all excited.”
The approximately 60,000-square-foot residence, known as University Hall, accommodates 231 students in traditional dorm rooms and suite apartments. It is located at 41 Rennell Street and was designed by Antinozzi Associates.
Farmington, CT-based KBE Construction began work on the $17-million building in May 2015. The project included the demolition of Schine Hall, a towering 10-story dorm that was open from 1971 to 1992 on land that is across the street from University Hall.
As they dismantled Schine, KBE crews discovered a time capsule in the cornerstone of the building. “It was a great glimpse into the past,” said Vice President of Facilities George Estrada.
The discovery also inspired students to assemble a time capsule for University Hall. Among other items, the capsule contains UB women’s soccer team T-shirts, a 2016 course catalog, a current invoice for tuition, and “a very special book filled with hand-written messages and thoughts from current students, staff, and faculty,” said Dean of Students Edina Oestreicher.
“It’s not every day you can send a message years into the future, and the community was incredibly thoughtful about their messages,” said Oestreicher. “It reminds you that as UB evolves, the campus has a shared history we all share and value.”
Fittingly, UB English Department faculty members, Amy Nawrocki, an award-winning poet, and Eric Lehman, an author specializing in Connecticut history, wrote a poem that was inscribed on the front of the time capsule. Inspired by UB’s logo, which includes the lamp of learning, tree of knowledge, the Perry Arch at Seaside Park, and waves of Long Island Sound, it reads:
On this day, September 16, 2016
We close this case to honor the present;
you open this gift to harvest the past.
Together, we are trees that bloom in Spring,
the sea that returns to the sunlit shore;
we are the arches that hold up the sky,
the flame that lights the future – pass the torch.
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