UConn’s newest residence hall opened its doors to more than 700 undergraduates last month. The eight-story Next Generation Connecticut Hall (NextGen Hall) is the first new on-campus housing in 13 years and is one of the tallest buildings in Storrs, with a commanding view on all sides. Innovation and creativity are built into the design of the 210,000-square-foot residence hall: On the first floor is an Idea Lab tailored for students to learn together and work in teams to solve problems and an Innovation Zone, or ‘maker space,’ complete with a mobile white board, a textile station, laser cutter, and 3-D printer.
Next Generation Connecticut Hall
NextGen houses mainly freshmen and sophomores, all of whom belong to one of the University’s faculty-led ‘learning communities,’ themed groups designed to bridge students’ academic, co-curricular, and residential experiences. Learning communities, says David Ouimette, who oversees the program, “create a small-college feel in a large university.” There are currently 30 such communities on the Storrs campus, of which eight will be housed in NextGen Hall. Nearly half of incoming freshmen opt to join a learning community, and many continue through their sophomore year. NextGen Hall represents the first time UConn has constructed a residence hall specifically for learning communities.
Learning Communities housed in NextGen Hall:
Floor 2: Engineering House
Floor 3: Engineering House & Eurotech House
Floor 4: Innovation House & ScHOLA²RS House
Floor 5: Honors to Opportunities (H2O)
Floor 6: Public Health House
Floor 7: WiMSE House
Floor 8: EcoHouse
Take a visual tour of UConn’s New Dorm: