University of New Haven Reaches Milestone in Bergami Center Build

By Aziza Jackson

WEST HAVEN, Conn. — The University of New Haven recently celebrated a milestone in the construction of its new Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation.

The state-of-the-art facility, scheduled to open in early 2020, will house engineering and science labs, technologically advanced collaborative classrooms, video production studios, an atrium/café, and space for multidisciplinary student and faculty collaboration.

A topping-off ceremony recently marked the hoisting of the final beam for the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, signifying the near-completion of the world-class facility that will enable students to take their pioneering work to an even higher level.

“By creating this space, we are strengthening our commitment to educating the world’s next generation of problem solvers and preparing them to excel in the careers of the future,” said University of New Haven President Steve Kaplan. “Ultimately, we have no greater charge than this.”

The 40,000-square-foot facility is the centerpiece of the university’s Charger Challenge: the campaign for the University of New Haven, which endeavors to raise $100 million before 2020 to invest in student scholarships and the university’s culture of innovation.

The center is being named in honor of longtime university benefactors Samuel S. Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA and Lois Bergami who ceremoniously signed the final beam that was hoisted and secured into place – topped with a tree for good luck.

“Founded nearly 100 years ago to meet the engineering and business needs of the region, the university now offers innovative and cutting-edge programs – such as cybersecurity, national security, data science, and biomedical engineering – that prepare our students for the careers of the future,” said Kaplan.

The facility is being built adjacent to Buckman Hall which houses the Tagliatela College of Engineering. It will serve as a primary point of contact for students from across the university interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. The building will be designed to help draw together resources from across the campus and to serve as a common space for students to develop and test ideas alongside their peers with mentorship from faculty, alumni, and corporate partners.

A central focus of the facility’s makerspace is providing tools and resources that enable students from across the university to work with industry partners to create prototypes of new ideas and innovative products.

More than one-third of building is “open space” that will foster idea exchange and teamwork. Instead of traditional faculty offices, it will feature co-working space to foster collaboration.

Designed by Svigals + Partners, this interdisciplinary building will serve as a central hub of activity between all of the University’s departments. At the heart of the Innovation Center is an atrium where students and administrators can gather together and collaborate.

“This building’s state-of-the-art science learning spaces, its technologically advanced ‘smart’ classrooms, and all of its additional pioneering features will provide an exceptional environment for our students to learn, create, and collaborate with each other,” said Kaplan. “Most importantly, it will provide even more opportunities for our students to develop the same forward-thinking mindset that Sam has demonstrated throughout his distinguished career. I am most grateful for Sam and Lois’s support, which is making this important initiative a reality.”