Torrey Life Science

Torrey Life Science or simply "TLS", is one of the primary sites of biology research and education at the University of Connecticut. It is located at 75 North Eagleville Rd., Storrs CT 06269.


History

The George Safford Torrey Life Science Building was built in 1961 on the Storrs campus of UConn. It was not named for Torrey until after 1980.

It remains one of the oldest buildings on campus. Many of the walls can clearly be seen undergoing putrefaction. Despite its being the central building of use by incoming freshman science students and all Life Science students at UConn, the University of Connecticut has chosen to direct funds for repair of the building into a new football training complex after the state already spent 23 million dollars on the Rentschler Field football stadium located in East Hartford, CT.

Current Situation

The UConn Advance, a PR publication put out by the university, cited TLS as being one of the few "Substandard" facilities at the university.

The sentiment that Torrey Life Science is inadequate is also shared by the students of the university. An unofficial poll carried out by the Daily Campus, the school newspaper, found TLS to be the #1 Worst Place in Storrs, CT.

During the Spring 2005 final exams there was an anonymous threat to blow up the building.

In late Spring 2007 there was a fire and massive electrical short in the TLS basement. The fire alarm was pulled; however, due to the outdated system, it failed after three bells. Amidst confusion and quite a bit of smoke, the building was evacuated and classes were cancelled. As a result, TLS no longer had an automated fire alarm system. This dangerous situation was mediated by the permanent fire officer posted in the building at all times. The status of TLS as "substandard" has been elevated to new levels of decrepitude, punctuated by alarm testing during lab practicals and the pungent smell of electrical fire.

In mid-June, less than two months later, a second fire was detected in the basement, once again due to problems with the electrical system. Visitors to the building will notice that the doors to the human anatomy lab have 6 inches sawed off the bottom to allow them to open over the electrical wires which are now being run under blue and yellow plastic covers along the basement floor. The building is closed after 7 pm every evening, forcing hardworking scientists to spend more time outdoors and with their families.

Renovations

The UCONN 2000 program promised some $2,181,000 initially for the renovation of TLS. This figure was grossly inadequate to the actual cost of the "gut" renovation that the building needs. As a result, the project was abandoned and a new project to REPLACE TLS was included in "21st Century UConn". Piecemeal "ad hoc" renovations of Torrey have been made, but nothing building-wide and no classroom renovations at all in many years. An architectural firm had been retained by the University and in 2002 estimated that the cost to replace Torrey would be ~$76 million. Unfortunately, less than $50 million was originally budgeted in the UConn 21st Century program, leaving University administrators trying to find ways to do too much with too little.

Algae-filled drain pipes crisscross the ceilings of the classrooms and offices of the building. Although connected to the more modern Biology-Physics and Pharmacy-Biology complexes, TLS has absorbed none of their refinement.

See also

University of Connecticut

   

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