FAIRFIELD — Sacred Heart University has purchased the 66-acre General Electric Co. property for $31.5 million, university officials said Monday morning.

SHU President John J. Petillo said “We are experiencing remarkable growth and the need for state of the art facilities. And frankly, the one thing they don’t make more of is land.

“The proximity and quality of the facilities is something we were unable to resist,’’ Petillo said.

The down payment and agreement were signed and paid on Monday and Sacred Heart will own the property as of Dec. 16.

The university plans to relocate its College of Education and computer science program to the GE property beginning in 2017.

SHU plans to use the property as an innovation campus, to expand its new School of Computing, which is focused on computer engineering, computer gaming and cybersecurity, and to develop programs in STEM fields such as health and life sciences, science and technology, university spokewoman Tracy Deer-Mirek said.

The university will also move certain elements of its Jack Welch College of Business to the new campus, including its new hospitality management program that will make use of facilities both at the GE site and SHU’s recently acquired Great River Golf Club in Milford.