Two Campuses: One Spirit
One hundred years ago, the small but hard-working community of Danbury had a collective dream: to build a teacher-training institution (then called a normal school) that would give people access to higher education and a chance to “touch the future” of America by becoming teachers.
They didn’t just dream. Led by a man named John R. Perkins (who would become this school’s first principal—what we would consider its president), the citizens of Danbury pushed and prodded a conservative Connecticut legislature into finally selecting their little town as the site for such a school. They had to fight hard, because bigger cities such as Waterbury were determined to overtake this facility.
But fight they did, and they won.
Over time, the three acres with a single building grew to a 30-acre campus with several structures. It achieved the status of college and then full-fledged university with degree programs turning out professionals in everything from music and fine arts to accounting, from nursing and physical education to meteorology. In the 1980s, its stunning 364-acre second campus opened with a state-of-the-art classroom facility at its center, soon to be complemented by a fabulous outdoor amphitheatre and nature preserve, student residence halls, a field house, an athletic stadium, the Westside Campus Center, and the new Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Two campuses. One proud Western.
On the Midtown campus are administrative offices, the Midtown Student Center with a variety of services and organizations, the Ruth Haas library, the Kathwari Honors House, two multi-level parking garages, the quad, classroom buildings, and student residences.
Here you’ll find our Bill Williams gym, the Colonial Fitness Zone and Recreation offices, the Pre-Collegiate & Access Programs, as well as classrooms and offices for the English, writing, world languages, communication, and health promotion departments, including a Holistic Treatment Suite.
This building between the Student Center and Newbury Hall houses the Maintenance/Trades Office.
Fairfield Hall (FH)
Our oldest (and smallest) hall, gracious Fairfield Hall was once an all-female residence hall. Renovated in 2008, it has now been converted to a coed dorm for first-year students.
These two annexed buildings house the math and writing departments including the MFA program, the Math Clinic, the International Center, Women’s Center, and offices for German Studies. Courses in mathematics (as well as some nursing classes) are held in Higgins Hall. The Math Emporium, a computer-equipped tutorial learning center, and a TV studio are located on the first floor of Higgins Annex. State-of-the-art lecture halls are located on the second floor, as well as the office of the associate vice president for Facilities.
Kathwari Honors House (KHH)
Formerly known as Alumni Hall, the building was renamed the Kathwari Honors House and is now home to the Kathwari Honors Program. In addition to housing the administrative offices of the Honors Program on the second floor, the house features an Honors classroom, conference room, den and kitchen on the first floor that are open to Honors students 24 hours, 7 days a week with their IDs. The WCSU Child Care Center is located on the lower level.
Litchfield Hall (LH)
A coed building full of life and activity, Litchfield Hall is an active, program-filled residence hall that houses first-year students. It also is home to the university’s Health Service office. Litchfield Hall is scheduled to undergo like-new renovation work and shall be offline May 2016 through August 2017. However, the WCSU Health Service will remain open while the residence hall is undergoing renovations.
Newbury Hall (NH)
Also a coed building for first-year students, Newbury Hall is another active, programming-intensive hall with a long tradition of student involvement. Newbury is also home to the Housing & Residence Life office.
The Registrar’s, Cashier’s, Financial Aid & Student Employment offices are located here on the first floor as well as the Division of Graduate Studies. On the second floor, you will find Admissions, the new Academic Advisement Center, the Enrollment Management office, and the office for Veterans Affairs. Also in this building on the third floor are the offices of the Dean and Vice President for Student Affairs, University Relations, Alumni Relations, and Information Technology & Innovation. The WestConnect Office is located on the lower level, with access from the rear of the building.
Located near the quad on the Midtown campus, the Ruth A. Haas Library was constructed in 1969 and expanded in the year 2000. It occupies 90,000 square feet on six floors. The Midtown Computer Center (MTCC) is located on the first floor of the Haas library. The writing center is located on the third level, the Tutoring Resource Center on the second, and an Einstein’s Bagels is located in the lobby area.
Science Building (SB)
The 122,000-square-foot Science Building is state of the art and houses the university’s biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and meteorology programs, including faculty offices, science laboratories, the Weather Center, and the Boehringer-Ingelheim Biochemistry Lab. The Midtown Observatory sits atop the Science Building and is utilized for classes, undergraduate research, and public viewing nights.
Student Center (SC)
The main level of the Student Center on the Midtown campus houses the Information Desk, WCSU Bookstore, Student Center Restaurant, as well as the Student Center Theater. On the second floor you’ll find many offices such as the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention office (CHOICES), the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), the Counseling Center, the InterCultural Center, as well as offices for student organizations such as the Student Government Association (SGA), Program Activities Council (PAC), Greek Council, The Echo (student newspaper), and WXCI (radio station). There is also a Veterans’ Oasis Lounge, as well as conference rooms, the student commuter and TV lounges, the game room, the Student Technology Training Center (STTC), and the 24-hour computer lab. If you need a QUIET place to study, then the Quiet Lounge is the perfect spot for you. On the lower level are the Colonial Corner, Mail Services, and the Shuttle lounge. On Thursday nights, the Colonial Corner is home to WCSU’s Midtown Coffeehouse and The Spot, a late-night program from midnight through 3 a.m..
University Hall (UH)
This building houses four levels of administrative offices, including Human Resources, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Affirmative Action Programs, Academic Affairs with the International Services Office, and the President’s office.
University Police Station (UPS)
This building was constructed and finished in 2016-17 and has served as the base of the University Police Department ever since.
Here you’ll find the Office of Grant Programs, as well as the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, and the psychology, social sciences, and history departments. Many events and exhibitions take place on the first floor.
White Hall (WH)
Nursing, social work, and philosophy department offices are located here, as well as the Office of the Dean of Professional Studies. Satellite offices for the education department are also located here. The Ives Concert Hall on the first floor is often used for performances and large, all-campus lectures. The lower level contains viewing rooms and classrooms, and houses Media Services, the Facilities Planning and Engineering department, the campus chapter of Roots & Shoots, as well as the AccessAbility Services Office.
Our woodsy campus, with its stretches of green lawn and great playing fields, offers a lot more than just a great place to take a nature walk or sling a Frisbee. These peaceful 364 acres harbor bustling student residences, a student Campus Center, an athletic stadium, a multi-purpose athletic facility and classrooms where everything from the marketing capabilities of the Internet Age to the dynamic nature of the American system of justice and law are taken apart and examined. The newest addition to the campus is the Visual and Performing Arts Center completed in 2015. The Westside Nature Preserve (WNP) is a 33-acre tract of land used as an educational and recreational resource for the university and the Greater Danbury region. With its diverse flora and fauna, the WNP serves as a laboratory for Western students. Trails are maintained year-round. The Ives Concert Park provides outdoor entertainment all summer. Managed by The Charles Ives Center for the Arts, this 40-acre site is used for outdoor events such as concerts and art shows. At the heart of this facility are a pond and a 2,500-square-foot gazebo used as a stage for performances.
Our newest residence hall, Centennial Hall is a 430-bed, suite-style residence hall. Most suites are two-bedroom, five-person suites with a living room and bath. Students here are required to be on the full university meal plan but microwaves are made available.
Ella Grasso Hall (GH)
Renovated in the summer of 2012, the first-built of our Westside residence halls, Grasso Hall is an apartment-style residence hall designed to house 261 students (mostly sophomore-level and up) in two bedroom, four-person apartments.
A 425-bed, apartment-style residence hall. Generally, students must be 21, have completed 57 credits, and put together a group of five roommates who all meet these criteria in order to be assigned to Pinney Hall. The hall underwent renovation in the summer of 2010 and in 2017 received a new Recreation Fitness Center.
Robert S. Young Library
Organized much like a corporate library, this business library located on the fourth floor of the Westside Classroom Building supports the departments of accounting, finance, management, marketing, management information systems and provides partial support for the Division of Justice and Law Administration. Located within the library is the Learning Commons, a tutoring and advising center focusing on business courses.
Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC)
The new Visual and Performing Arts Center is a three-story 135,000 square-foot structure and is home to the School of Visual and Performing Arts. The educational and artistic experiences of students, faculty, alumni and patrons of the arts are enhanced by the addition of a 350- seat concert hall, a 350-seat theater, an art gallery, a recording studio, and state-of-the-art rehearsal, classroom, and studio arts facilities.
Westside Athletic Complex
Facilities include a synthetic field surface, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, press box, and a concessions area.
This 49,000-square-foot building houses food service facilities, meeting rooms and lounges, an information desk, conference facilities, student offices, a fitness center, and The Daily Grind, a coffee lounge. The office of the Director of the Campus/Student Centers, the Career Success Center, as well as the satellite office for the Academic Advisement Center are located here. The Campus Center Computer Center (C4) can be found on the third floor.
Westside Classroom Building (WS)
Besides its many classrooms and lecture forums, this uniquely designed facility features the Robert S. Young Business Library and its Ancell Learning Commons; the Advanced Technology Classroom, a high-tech, joint-research, interactive classroom venture between this university and the IBM Corporation; computer labs; the university’s Publication and Design department; as well as the newly established Entrepreneurship, Research, and Innovation Center (E.R.I.C.). The Ancell School of Business and the education and computer science departments are also located in this building as well as the offices for the Charles Ives Center for the Arts.
Westside Nature Preserve (WNP)
A 33-acre nature preserve worthy of Thoreau himself, the WNP is also an outdoor laboratory with meandering trails, a babbling brook, and a wide variety of flora and fauna indigenous to this beautiful part of Connecticut.
Westside Observatory and Planetarium (WSO)
The observatory is outfitted with a sensational 20” Ritchey Crétien telescope, one of the largest of its kind in the state. Viewings of the night sky are offered regularly and are usually free and open to the public.
This fabulous center contains a 4,000-seat arena, indoor basketball and volleyball courts, a weight training facility, a swimming pool, the athletic and recreation department offices, and the WCSU Hall of Fame. Many area high schools conduct their graduations in the O’Neill Center, as it is known for short. Western’s tennis courts are right outside the building. The Westside campus also has fully lighted rugby, intramural, baseball, softball and practice field.