CCSU breaks ground on new Recreation Center
Will replace outdated Kaiser Annex Bubble
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Oct. 26, 2017
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Say goodbye to the “bubble” at Central Connecticut State University. This afternoon, the University broke ground for a new 61,000 square foot recreation center that will replace the Kaiser Annex bubble. Due to the inclement weather, the ceremony took place inside the bubble which will soon be deflated for the start of construction.
A two-story, steel-frame structure will be built on Kaiser Annex site and will connect to Kaiser Hall, the home of Blue Devil Athletics. Funded through the state’s CSUS 2020 infrastructure improvement program, the new building will replace the 34,000 square foot, air-supported fabric structure constructed in 1991.
Once completed in approximately 18 months, the new recreation center will feature sport and multipurpose activity courts, an elevated wellness track, studio space, exercise and fitness areas, office and meeting rooms, and bathrooms with shower facilities.
Speaking at the ceremony, CCSU President Zulma R. Toro explained to the audience that the project has been a long time coming. “By replacing the old bubble and upgrading the recreational facilities in a new structure, we are acting as prudent stewards of the state’s properties to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff as well as our neighbors have access to a state-of-the-art facility in which to exercise, relax, have fun, and enjoy each other’s company,” she said.
Pending approval by the Board of Regents, the building is expected to be named the Huang Recreation Center to honor the late Huang Change-Jen, whose generous contributions to the university supports student scholarships.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Huang’s son, Paul. Recalling a conversation with his father many years ago, Paul Huang said, “My father believed that, through the scholarships and endowments he established, he was helping to open doors to the world for young people -- giving them the opportunity to explore and learn about themselves. His gift to CCSU carries on his belief – our family tradition – that helping others is the basis for our own happiness.”
Dr. Huang, born and raised in Hunan, China, passed away in 2012 after a long, successful life as an industrialist, humanitarian, and calligrapher.
Speakers at the ceremony also included Mark Ojakian, Pasquale Salemi, Department of Administrative Services Deputy Commissioner, and Peter Troiano, Vice President of Student Affairs at CCSU.
Lawrence Brunoli, Inc. of Farmington is the project’s general contractor and Sasaki Associates, Inc. of Watertown, Mass. is the project architect.