Our Campuses: Midtown and Westside
Irfan Kathwari Honors House
Formerly the St. Nicholas Byzantine Church, Irfan Kathwari Honors House was purchased by WestConn in 1996. Since its acquisition, the 8,434 square-foot building has been used as a multi-purpose lecture and exhibition facility, and it serves as a small theater for concerts and readings. Irfan Kathwari Honors House also is home to the Office of Planning and Engineering, as well as The WCSU Child Care Center, which opened in 1997.
Berkshire Hall, totaling more than 84,796 square feet, sits on the northern end of the Midtown campus. In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, Berkshire houses the Bill Williams Gymnasium, a weight room, and two theaters: the 588-seat Berkshire Theatre, which features the Theatre Department's larger productions, and the Rich Reimold Theatre, used for smaller shows and staged readings.
Berkshire also houses various academic departments including English, writing, linguistics, communications, theatre arts, and health promotion and exercise sciences, as well as tutoring labs including foreign language, math and computer science, study skills and writing.
The grove features a semi-circular paved plaza defined by a low fieldstone wall, a lighted planting bed and six cast-in-place benches. At the head of the plaza is a fieldstone monolith with a bronze plaque commemorating the University's first centennial. Beneath the monolith is a vault containing a time capsule for future historians. This outdoor area serves as a serene location for student browsing, contemplation, reading, etc.
Fairfield Hall was WestConn’s first residence hall. Built in 1917, the hall then accommodated 84 students; in 1957, the facility was renovated and 46 units were added. Over the years, the now 34,771-square-foot hall has remained a female-only residence hall, which houses several lounge and study areas furnished with pool tables, cable television, recreational equipment and kitchenettes. The building also contains a laundry facility, vending machines and an information desk. One of the building’s most distinguishing features is the cupola atop the building, which is featured in the university’s logo.
This residence hall had major renovations and upgrades to the facility during 2007-08 and re-opened in Fall 2008.
Recently completed in the fall of 2006, this pre-cast parking garage is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Osborne Street. This facility accommodates 800 cars on its four levels and is equipped with surveillance cameras and emergency phone system.
This six-level library was named after former Western Connecticut State College president Dr. Ruth A. Haas, the first woman to be elected president of a four-year college in the United States.
built in 1969, a $19.8-million expansion project in 2000 funded an
addition and renovation that more than doubled the size of the library
to 113,021 square feet. The combined holdings of the Haas Library and
the Robert S. Young Library (located in the Westside Classroom Building)
include more than 215,000 volumes and more than 480,000 microforms,
government documents, and electronic and audio-visual resources.
Throughout the school year, the library’s CyberCafe and fifth-floor meeting room host poetry readings, concerts, films and lectures.
Hall/Higgins Hall Annex
Built in 1950, Higgins Hall was named in honor of Lothrop D. Higgins, a science professor who became the school's second principal while the university was known as Danbury State Normal School. In 1964, an addition called Higgins Annex was added to Higgins Hall, nearly doubling the size of the building to more than 85,674 square feet. In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, Higgins houses the Academic Advisement Center, an art gallery and the School of Visual and Performing Arts.
Constructed in the 1960s, Litchfield Hall, at 53,357 square feet, accommodates about 240 students and is one of two co-educational residence halls on the Midtown campus. Litchfield’s “open square” design makes it a unique building on campus. The residence hall’s center offers a courtyard and a small pond.
Litchfield includes several lounge and study areas furnished with pool tables, cable television, recreational equipment and kitchenettes. The building also contains a laundry facility, vending machines and an information desk. Litchfield also houses University Health Services in a 2,700-square-foot addition that was built in 1991 to serve campus medical needs.
The Midtown Quad, with its series of connecting landscaped pedestrian walkways, benches and street lamps that light they way to the various buildings surrounding this park-like setting, serves as a venue for celebrations and events. Students use the Quad daily for activities from tossing a frisbee to finding a quiet place to study or relax outdoors.
Newbury Hall is one of two co-educational residence halls on the Midtown campus. Built in 1969, this residence hall accommodates about 230 students, mainly in double-occupancy rooms. At five stories high, the 60,158-square-foot Newbury is the tallest of the Midtown campus residence halls. Many rooms offer a view of the Midtown campus.
Newbury houses a large, multi-purpose lounge and several study and lounge areas furnished with pool tables, cable television, recreational equipment and kitchenettes. The building also contains laundry facilities, a study lounge, vending machines and an information desk. Newbury also is home to the Housing and Residence Life Office.
In 1903, when state legislators allocated funding for the creation of WestConn (then called Danbury Normal School), Danbury native Alexander White donated three acres of land to the state for the school's site. Old Main, constructed in 1904, was built on that land.
Today, at 42,207 square feet, the renovated Old Main building houses student-oriented administrative services that include the offices of the Registrar, Cashier, Financial Aid and Veteran's Affairs. Also located in Old Main are Student Affairs, WestConnect Office (I.D. and access card services), University Relations, University Publications and Design and the University Print Shop. As the home of Information Technology & Innovation, Old Main also is the focal point for the University's networking and telecommunications systems.
The red brick building on Roberts Avenue is home to WestConn’s Police Department and energy plant. In 1952, the structure housed the college’s central heating and hot water plant. The building was expanded to include the university police station in 1955. Years later, a second story was added, enlarging the building to 10,773 square feet. WestConn’s University Trades and Minor Capital Projects Department and maintenance garage are also located in the facility.
Completed in 2005, this new 122,000 sq. ft. science building houses the biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy and meteorology departments. The facility includes classrooms, lecture auditoria, a greenhouse, an observatory, the WCSU Weather Center and research laboratories, including the Boehringer Ingleheim Biochemistry Lab. This "green" building was the first state-funded building project to seek LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, an organization which promotes the design and construction of environmentally responsible and sustainable buildings.
The Student Center, constructed in 1959, was originally called Memorial Hall. After a four-year renovation and addition project that doubled the building size to more than 71,880 square feet, the Student Center re-opened in 1998. The facility now features a multi-purpose, 170-occupancy theater, a game room equipped with pool tables, a 24-hour computer lab, a student technology training center, as well as student and faculty dining halls and a snack bar. This building also houses student-related administrative offices such as the Student Government Association, The Echo, the university's student-operated newspaper, the University Information Center; WestConn Christian Ministry; and WXCI 91.7 FM, the student-operated campus radio station.
Additional student services located in the Student Center are the WestConn Bookstore, Career Development Center, AccessAbility Services, Catholic Campus Ministry, Counseling Center, Greek Council, Mail Services, the Inter-Cultural Resource Center, Program Activities Council, and the Student Center Board.
A four-level, 20,302 square-foot office building, University Hall was purchased during the early months of 1996. Fully renovated in 2000, University Hall now houses administrative offices such as Finance and Administration, Institutional Advancement, Human Resources, Administrative Services, Environmental & Facilities Services, Academic Affairs and the Office of the President.
Added to the Midtown campus in 1999, this building was named for Dr. Truman A. Warner, professor emeritus of anthropology and history. The design and architecture of the 34,078-square-foot building was carefully planned to blend with the rest of the Midtown campus, incorporating many aesthetic elements from the two oldest buildings, Old Main and Fairfield Hall. A red brick facade complements the other Midtown structures, while its arched window design echoes that of the Haas Library. Warner Hall houses the Office of the Dean of the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences, classrooms, and offices for the history, social sciences and psychology departments and grant programs. The first floor of Warner offers public meeting and lounge spaces, conference rooms, and includes a small food services' facility for catering large gatherings.
Once the home of Danbury's high school, White Hall was purchased by the university in 1964. Built in 1925, the building was named in honor of Alexander White, a Danbury native and the school’s original benefactor.
Today, White Hall serves as a multi-purpose academic building. The 133,869 sq. ft. facility includes computer and non-computer classrooms, journalism, graphics, and nursing laboratories, as well as MFA studios. White Hall is home to the Office of the Dean of Professional Studies, Media Services' department, and Ives Concert Hall, a facility utilized by student and academic departments for recitals, lectures, ceremonies and various cultural events. Also located in White Hall is The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies, a collaborative effort between The Jane Goodall Institute and the University, offering environmental interdisciplinary programs for students, educators and the community.
WestConn's three-story Midtown parking garage opened in May 1996, expanding the school's parking facilities by more than 900 spaces.
The garage features an enclosed pedestrian bridge that spans White Street, allowing students, faculty and staff to cross safely. The garage has two elevators, one at each end of the bridge. Equipped with surveillance cameras and emergency telephones, the facility is patrolled night and day by the WestConn police.
Fields and Tennis Courts
Outdoor athletic facilities include soccer and rugby practice fields, baseball and softball fields and six tennis courts.
Completed in 2004, the Athletics Complex includes a 24,000-square-foot SprintTurf field where the Colonials play their home football and soccer games. The stadium also houses an outdoor facility that seats approximately 2,500 spectators and is equipped with a press box, concession area (operated by Sodexho Dining Services), and restrooms. The graduation commencement exercises are held at this facility.
Hall & Parking Garage
This 350-bed residence hall and 425-car parking garage opened in the fall of 2004. The bedroom suites include a living/study area, bathroom(s), and a small kitchen area, which accommodate four to seven students. The 131,038 sq. ft. facility includes community laundering facilities, a large lounge area, a computer technology lab, a fitness center, game room and vending machine area.
Centennial Hall received an Award of Merit in the 2005 Connecticut Building Congress Project Team Award for a project in the "above $10 million construction cost" category, as well as a LEED certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Named in honor of the former governor of Connecticut, Ella Grasso Hall is one of three apartment-style residence halls on the Westside campus. Completed in 1983, this 78,811- square-foot building accommodates 369 upper-class students. Each suite contains two double-occupancy bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room and a kitchen area. Grasso Hall also houses a large, multi-purpose lounge furnished with pool tables, a piano and a large-screen television. Laundry facilities also are available.
Run jointly by the City of Danbury and WestConn, the Ives Concert Park is a 40-acre site on the Westside campus that is used for outdoor events such as concerts and shows. At the heart of this facility are a pond and a 2,500-square-foot gazebo used as a stage for performances.
Athletic and Convocation Center
Completed in 1995, the 167,581-square-foot William O'Neill Athletic and Convocation Center acts as a multi-purpose athletic facility for the Westside Campus and houses many of WestConn's athletic and recreational offices for the baseball, basketball (men's and women's), softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball teams. Equipped with a weight room, swimming pool and locker rooms, the O'Neill Center also contains the Feldman Arena, where WestConn's basketball and volleyball teams hold home competitions. The arena can seat 4,500 spectators and is often used for concerts, keynote speakers and a variety of college shows. The O'Neill Center's Hall of Fame honors WestConn's own outstanding athletes.
Named in honor of a former CSU Board of Trustees' member, A. Searle Pinney, this building was completed in 1999. This 425-bed, 193,772-square-foot apartment-style residence hall is typically reserved for upper-class students and accommodates five students per suite. Each unit contains three furnished bedrooms, two bathrooms, a furnished living and dining area, and a full-sized kitchen. Each apartment also has a balcony.
In addition, the building houses two-story floor lounges spaced throughout the building, laundry facilities and conference/meeting rooms that can be reserved for special occasions.
Westside Campus Center
This new 49,000 sq. ft. center opened its doors in January 2007 to serve WestConn's student body, faculty, staff, alumni and guests. The Center is home to the Student Center/Student Life Office, which provides students with educational and social programs aimed at assisting students outside of the classroom. The Center features a full-service dining facility and club/coffee house, multi-purpose meeting and conference rooms, cardio-fitness center, study lounges, student organization offices and information desk.
Completed in 1981, the 96,110-square-foot Westside Classroom Building is WestConn’s most uniquely designed facility. With its "spiral" hallway concept, four of its five floors are accessible without using elevators or stairs.
The building is home to classrooms, lecture halls, departmental offices and computer laboratories. In addition to the business and education departments, the building houses the Ancell School of Business, Center for Developmental Studies, Westside Computer Center, and Robert S. Young Library. The building also includes student lounges, a bookstore and offices for The Charles Ives Center for the Arts.
The Westside Nature Preserve (WNP), a 33-acre tract of land, is used as an educational and recreational resource for the university and the Greater Danbury region. With its diverse flora and fauna, the WNP serves as a laboratory for WestConn students. Trails are maintained year-round.
Sitting atop a hill on the Westside campus, the expanded WCSU Westside Observatory is home to a 20-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope, among the largest at any institution of higher education in Connecticut. This 2,694 sq. ft. facility houses a 20-foot planetarium dome, a classroom and display case. This observatory is used extensively by students and faculty in the astronomy program. The Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology Department hosts public observatory nights and open houses that allow people from WestConn and the local community to view the planets, comets, stars and other celestial phenomena through the telescopes.