By Natalie Cioffari
On Monday, Nov. 21 Sacred Heart University announced to the community the agreement to purchase General Electric’s (GE) property in Fairfield. This property was formally known as General Electric’s global headquarters.
According to The Wall Street Journal, GE is relocating to Boston sometime in 2018. The company’s headquarters have been stationed in Connecticut since 1974.
“This is a transformational moment in the history of Sacred Heart University,” said John Petillo, president of the university, in a press release. “With this property, SHU has a unique opportunity to contribute to education, research, health care and the community. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us, and it also reflects our long-standing relationship with GE that includes former GE CEO Jack Welch, for whom our College of Business is named.”
The decision to purchase GE’s property has mainly had a positive impact on campus.
“When I saw it [the GE purchase]in the paper, I was very excited about it. I also saw what the price was, and was actually very surprised because I thought it was an unbelievably good deal for the university,” said Joe Alicastro, Coordinator of News & Broadcasting, MACOMM.
According to Sacred Heart’s official press release, the land is approximately 66 acres it was acquired for 31.5 million dollars.
The property will most likely include parts of and expand on the School of Computing and the Jack Welch College of Business.
“I am excited to see what new programs will be implemented here for computer science students,” said junior Nick D’Angelo. “This can only grow our strong computer science program. A lot of other programs here like business or health sciences have their own facilities, like the business building and Cambridge, so it is nice to have a facility dedicated to computer science majors especially the former GE office.”
This expansion also hopes to place the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at the new location, along with the art & design program, and some university offices.
“I am really excited to hear that the education department will finally have a home for itself,” said senior Cristina Zangaglia. “Being that we spend an extra year here, it will be very refreshing to utilize this space designed just for us.”
WTNH News 8 stated that Sacred Heart is hopeful to include new features with this new venture including expanding sports facilities to including a swimming pool and running trails, and additionally, space for performing arts.
Sacred Heart officials also say they hope the expansion and purchase of GE will hopefully lead to partnerships with local health care facilities and providers. This would be beneficial to the College of Health Professions and the College of Nursing students for clinical oppurtunities.
Many students have expressed excitement towards the expansion of the university.
“I think that Sacred Heart buying GE is the start of something new. Just thinking about where this college is going gives me the chills,” said senior Sarah Krufka.
Overall, they believe it is a great oppurtunity for Sacred Heart.
“I think purchasing General Electric will be beneficial for the school for academic puposes and will help grow our community as the campus grows larger,” said freshman Nicole Patch.
Sacred Heart has been steadily expanding their campus for the past few years. From the construction and opening of the new Jorge Bergoglio building, to the newly purchased Jewish Senior Services, also known as The Jewish Home, Sacred Heart keeps on building in size.
“We are buying a world-class headquarters from a world-class company, one that I happen to work for indirectly for 30 years, since GE owned NBC. It gives us opportunities to expand in ways we never could have within our existing footprint,” said Alicastro.