By Alexa Binkowitz
Last November, Sacred Heart University purchased 66 acres of land that was previously owned by General Electric (GE).
General Electric relocated to Boston, Mass. after selling the property to Sacred Heart for $31.5 million.
The property, now referred to as the West Campus, will house new resources for clubs and organizations, more parking, and space for academic programs to expand.
“We expect to move the College of Education and parts of the Welch College of Business to West Campus. We are planning to make it an innovation campus, which means it will house the new School of Computing (computer engineering, computer gaming and cyber security) and new programs in the STEM fields,” said Deb Noack, director of communications.
Sacred Heart will be making use of the buildings and resources GE left behind, expanding into new programs that will benefit future students.
“We are also planning a new hospitality program that will make use of the 28-room hotel that exists on the West Campus,” said Noack.
The Hospitality program will be part of the Jack Welch College of Business and will train students to pursue a career in hospitality management.
This will include courses on tourism management, revenue and pricing analytics, food and beverage operations, as well as hands-on experience with clients and guests.
“The program will use the existing guest house on the West Campus as well as the facilities at Great River Golf Course,” said Noack.
The dance program is also utilizing an exercise and aerobics studio that was ready for use at the beginning of this semester.
“The new space at the West Campus is really beautiful and will allow the dance program to develop and grow a lot more,” said junior and member of the dance ensemble, Keri Pringer.
The West Campus’ resources will allow for the expansion of the School of Computer Science, The Isabelle Farrington College of Education, The College of Arts and Sciences, and parts of the College of Health Professions as well.
“Current plans include moving the business office from Oakview to the West Campus. Other departments, though still undetermined, will also have offices on the West Campus,” said Noack.
Programs within the College of Business, The College of Health Professions and the College of Nursing may also have access to the West Campus in the future.
“We also hope to pursue partnerships with local health-care providers at the West Campus, offering clinical opportunities for students in our Colleges of Health Professions and Nursing,” said Noack. “We also intend to provide incubator space that would allow students, in conjunction with investors and area businesses, to develop their creative ideas for new products and programs.”
Currently, The West Campus is primarily used for parking, therefore moving the location of the student overflow lot to the West Campus instead of the Trumbull Mall.
“All staff and vendors who work at the main campus are parking there. In addition, faculty from the Martire building are also parking there,” said Noack.
Some students are excited about the acquisition of the West Campus property, because the new space will lead to better and more advanced opportunities in the future.
“Having the West Campus will definitely allow Sacred Heart students to have a more technologically advanced and hands-on learning experience,” said junior Olivia DeFabritiis. “Having more space, more parking, and more classrooms will really help Sacred Heart expand in the future.”
Developments and improvements to the West Campus will continue for the next few years as programs and university organizations transition over to the property.