UConn west campus may be sold to Chinese

The University of Connecticut's West Hartford campus, which may be sold to the Weiming Education Group of China. Weiming Education said it intends to establish an international high school academy on the grounds. Provided to China Daily by Peter Morenus/UConn

The University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus, which may be sold to the Weiming Education Group of China. Weiming Education said it intends to establish an international high school academy on the grounds. Provided to China Daily by Peter Morenus/UConn

One of the University of Connecticut’s campuses could be sold to a Chinese education group, which wants to open a private international high school on the site.

The West Hartford campus, one of the state university’s five regional campuses, is being sold off as the school prepares to open a new campus in downtown Hartford five miles east next fall.

The school has negotiated a tentative agreement to sell the 58-acre campus to Weiming Education Group for $12.6 million, the school told its board of trustees in a March 30 letter.

It said that the town of West Hartford has the right to match the terms agreed upon and buy the property for itself.

Ron Van Winkle, West Hartford town manager, told China Daily that the town will convene on May 2 to consider the option, although according to the university’s letter to its board, “conversations between University representatives and [the town] staff suggest that the town will likely be supportive of a purchase by [Weiming Education Group]”.

The town is supportive because of the education group’s intent to use the property for educational purposes; that it is proposing collaboration with other West Hartford public schools; and because the company will pay real estate taxes on the property – which is currently tax-exempt state land – to the town, the school said.

Weiming Education Group, founded in 1999, said in its letter to the town of West Hartford that the international high school academy it will establish will serve American, Asian, European and South American students.

“The outstanding academic reputation of both West Hartford and the State of Connecticut is what has led to Weiming’s interest in possibly locating at the…

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