UConn Selects KBE for New STEM Bldg.


KBE-UConn STEM Residence Hall / Rendering by Newman Architects

Storrs, CT – The University of Connecticut has chosen KBE Building Corp. to design and build a new $79 million multistory residence and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) building at its main campus in Storrs.

KBE will serve as design-builder and constructor for the 210,000sf building, which will contain a STEM educational component and 727 student beds, including 23 that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new building will be located west of Sherman Field and adjacent to the existing Hale and Ellsworth dormitories.

This is the first project awarded under the university’s Next Gen building program, and it is pursuing LEED Silver certification. Completion is slated for summer 2016.

The design team for the new STEM residence hall will be led by JSA Architects from Portsmouth, N.H., who previously teamed with KBE on the Kellogg House residence hall design-build project at the University of Virginia.

JSA will be supported by structural engineer DiBlasi Associates; civil engineer BL Companies; and mechanical, engineering, and plumbing (MEP) engineer WSP.

Newman Architects, PC with BVH Integrated Services were selected by the university as the design architect and engineer during the bridging documents phase and will serve as the university’s design consultant during the completion of design and the construction phase.


KBE has completed six university residence halls as design-builder and constructor, providing nearly 2,000 beds for students at Western Connecticut State University, Wesleyan University, the University of Maryland, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the University of Virginia, and the University of Connecticut. KBE has completed eight projects at the University of Connecticut, including

  • Design-builder and constructor for the award-winning 138,000sf, 450-bed Garrigus Suites Residence Hall.
  • General contractor for the award-winning, LEED Gold-certified, 20,000sf renovation and addition to McMahon Dining Hall.
  • Construction manager at risk for the award-winning 130,830sf addition and 99,870sf renovation to the University’s Student Union.

The STEM residence hall is part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Next Generation Connecticut (NGC) initiative, designed to greatly expand educational opportunities, research, and innovation in the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines at the school during the next decade, with the overall goal of creating an infrastructure that supports Connecticut’s most important industries, including high-tech manufacturing.

One of the most ambitious state investments in economic development, higher education, and research in the nation, NGC will transform the university into a top public research institution that fuels Connecticut’s economy through new technologies, highly skilled graduates, and the creation of high-wage jobs.

“By building the very first component of the NextGen initiative at UConn, we’re helping reinforce that Connecticut remains in the vanguard of many technologies, especially precision manufacturing,” said Kolakowski. “That goes hand-in-hand with our 2014 philanthropic focus on informing and engaging the public with the state’s rich history — and its continued success — with technical education and careers.”

On June 9, KBE presented a $500 scholarship to one young man and one young woman from each of Connecticut’s 17 active technical high schools. The scholarships will be applied toward the students’ educational expenses for post-high school education in construction, architecture, engineering, or any building trade, including plumbing, electrical, and mechanical.

KBE has also completed eight technical high school projects throughout the state — more than any other firm. The $60.5 million renovation and addition to J.M. Wright Tech in Stamford opened in August 2014, and the $52.3 million renovation and addition at Harvard H. Ellis Tech in Danielson is scheduled for completion in fall 2014.

KBE is also the founding sponsor for a Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) documentary about the state’s manufacturing industry. Set to premiere on October 23, Made in Connecticut is part of a year-long, multiplatform initiative designed to explore modern manufacturing and the role of innovation within companies that are located — and thriving — right here in Connecticut.

Both the scholarship awards and the sponsorship are part of KBE’s corporate philanthropic program, 50 Ways to Make a Difference. Established in 2009 to celebrate the firm’s new ownership, name change, and 50 years in business, 50 Ways has helped KBE associates donate more than $1.2 million and 5,000 volunteer hours to charitable causes benefiting children, seniors, and military veterans in Connecticut and Maryland. This year’s beneficiaries were students within Connecticut’s technical high school system.