Updated: Friday, 09 Nov 2012, 6:38 PM EST
Published : Friday, 09 Nov 2012, 4:24 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Some West Hartford residents and students were stunned to learn today that the 42 year presence of the Greater Hartford UConn campus will end next year.
The Greater Hartford branch of the University of Connecticut has been located on this sixty acre campus in West Hartford since the 1970's but the state says it's time to move back to downtown Hartford.
It's a buyer's and renter's market in downtown Hartford with several large buildings empty because of the commercial real estate slump.
"To bring 21-hundred students downtown, sixty faculty members, all of the life that a university brings to a downtown, is very exciting," Gov. Malloy said.
The mayor of Hartford is welcoming the move with open arms and negotiations are underway for a more recent vintage empty building.
West Hartford's Town Manager says the nearby University of Saint Joseph and University of Hartford are interested in the property and even if they're not, there is a plan.
"It's zoned residential, it's called 'R-10 Residential,' it means four houses to an acre, there's 58 acres here, could be a brand new neighborhood," Ron Van Winkle, the town manager, said.
"I think it's not the greatest idea. They should probably use the resources they have to renovate the buildings that they need to renovate," Joanna Ishmael of West Hartford said.
UConn's president says it would cost $25M to renovate. It's cheaper to move. Other students we spoke with had other problems with the idea.
"I'm not really happy with it because the reason I chose the campus is because it was a smaller campus," Cami Barnes of Cheshire said.
"I don't know, are we gonna have parking? What's the parking going to be like?" Delmar Smith of New Britain asked.
The parking is something else that is yet to be worked out.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said "since I took office I have actively engaged UConn to have a bigger footprint in the Capital City. The City of Hartford stands ready to welcome UConn with open arms and assist in as many ways as we can."