The city of New Britain is looking at the possibility of turning the old police station into a residence hall for Central Connecticut State University students.
The former station is located less than two miles from the CCSU campus and next to CT Fastrack station, which would make for a short shuttle ride for students.
"We're having a good collaborative relationship with CCSU and the state in talking about a multi-use future for that site, plans could include student housing and other use for the university," said New Britain Mayor Tim O'Brien.
Both city officials and business owners downtown told Eyewitness News that they feel the added impact of a few hundred students would be big for businesses in the area.
"I think it would just help the city be more vibrant, bring some tax revenue downtown, a private-public partnership," said John Miller of Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce. "But, just to have more people down here would be tremendous."
CCSU President Jack Miller said in a statement the university would "thoroughly evaluate the interesting proposal" and remains willing to work with the city.
Miller added the university must first complete its seven-story, 637-bed on-campus residence hall.
Miller went on further to say the school is interested in seeing if a downtown residence hall is feasible. However, he adds it would likely be a mixed-use facility with classrooms, office space and retail.
Students, along with those living in New Britain, seem split on the idea of downtown dorms.
CCSU senior Angela Mini said the proposal is "probably not the best idea."
Jose Maldonado, of New Britain, said he "definitely" supported it and felt that "more people would start coming" to the university.
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