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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

First makeover in decades begins on URI residence halls
University begins to create "Freshman Village" with Barlow Hall

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 16, 2000 -- The sounds of hammers, saws, and drills are ringing on the University of Rhode Island's Kingston Campus as the first major renovation in decades of the residential facilities gets underway. The buildings that annually house about 3,800 students are now in line for improvements that will make them the talk of the town.

With the theme of "Making something old, new again," the project receives an official kick-off party on Wednesday, Feb. 16 with students, faculty, staff, and others celebrating the occasion. The event is being held in the Memorial Union on URI's Kingston Campus.

Renderings of Barlow Hall and the Freshman Village, as well as displays of new versus old room furnishings, historical images, and construction photographs will be on display at the event.

As part of the plan to completely renovate 14 residence halls at a rate of two each year over the next seven years, Barlow Hall was closed earlier this year and is the first to undergo extensive renovation. Barlow is the first of the six residence halls that will create the new "Freshman Village," a place where first year students will live in a community defined by distinct neighborhoods, shared programs, and a focus on the first year experience at URI.

"Providing facilities that meet the needs of our new culture for learning and that respond to rising parent and student expectations is critical to the future of on-campus living for our students," said URI President Robert L. Carothers. "We're very appreciative of the support for this project from Governor Lincoln Almond, the General Assembly, the Board of Governors for Higher Education, and ultimately the voters of the State of Rhode Island. These renewed residences will be more in-line with the levels of excellence found within our academic enterprise and demonstrated by our students."

The total renovation costs for all of the facilities are projected to be $64 million. The University's self-supporting Department of Housing and Residential Life is funding the initial part of the Freshman Village project with $22 million, including $20 million from a 30-year Rhode Island Health and Education Building Corporation (RIHEBC) bond issued in October 1999 and $2 million from other sources of capital. To support the remainder of the project, the University is seeking $42 million in general obligation bonds that will go before voters in November.

"Fortunately over the years the voters of the State of Rhode Island have shown that they believe strongly in supporting the needs of higher education," said Jack Keigwin, chair of the Board of Governors for Higher Education's facilities committee. "This investment is the first phase of a two-phase program for the renovation and upgrade of all residence halls. It clearly falls in line with the needs of the institution as it strives to remain competitive and at the same time provides our sons and daughters with safe, attractive, and well-conceived housing options. The new 'Freshman Village' at URI will surely become a model to which others in the state and the nation will aspire."

Through the renovation plan, the large corridor-style Barlow and Weldin residence halls will be completely upgraded with modernized interiors and exteriors.

Highlights of these renovations include:

New elevator and full ADA compliance throughout

State of the art fire safety equipment including sprinklers

Air conditioning for summer conferences

Thermostatic controls in each room and complete upgrade of heating system

Complete upgrade of electrical system and usable wattage to each room

New floor lounges and 24-hour study areas that can be used selectively as teaching spaces

Upgraded bathrooms

Laundry rooms on each floor

Substantial exterior building upgrades and improved main entrances

Landscaping upgrades that will make the buildings more appealing and promote social gatherings

A new security outpost for the Village staffed by evening security.

All of these improvements will be in keeping with the University's new Master Plan.

The Barlow renovation work began on schedule and on budget on Dec. 27, with the demolition completed Feb. 4. The residence hall is scheduled to reopen for fall 2000. Work on Weldin Hall is scheduled to begin on May 15 and be completed Jan. 2001.

The Weldin project will also include a small gateway building between Weldin and Barlow that defines the southern edge of the Freshman Village. Bressler and Butterfield Halls are scheduled as renovated buildings three and four, to begin spring semester 2001. These buildings will be renovated at a lower tier renovation standard due, in part, to the fact that certain work such as replacement of roofs and windows and renovation of bathrooms was recently completed in those halls. Butterfield Hall renovations will begin May 2001 assuming additional funding is available at that time

Adams and Browning Halls are targeted as the final two of six Freshman Village buildings. Using current construction costs, the assigned architect is conducting a review of renovation against new construction costs for Adams Hall at the highest tier renovation standard.

As program manager, Gilbane Co. is providing selected services including scheduling and value engineering. DuBose Associates is the architect for both buildings. The University has also contracted with its own on-site inspector to control costs and oversee project advancement.

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Freshman Village Residence Hall Renovation Project
Barlow and Weldin Halls
Fact Sheet

The first residence hall upgrade projects to be undertaken as part of the entire residence hall renovation is the creation of a "Freshman Village." The Freshman Village will be a place where first year students will live in a community defined by distinct neighborhoods, shared programs, and a focus on the first year experience at URI.

The total cost for the Freshman Village project is $27.4 million. The University's self-supporting Department of Housing and Residential Life is funding the initial part of the Freshman Village project with $22 million, including $20 million from a 30-year Rhode Island Health and Education Building Corporation bond issued in October 1999 and $2 million from other sources of capital. To support the remainder of the total residence hall renovations, the University is seeking $42 million in general obligation bonds that will go before voters in November.

Commencing with the Freshman Village, an aggressive program was undertaken to limit the beds taken offline during any semester to 200. Two residence halls will be offline from mid-May through August with each building taking eight months and a completion rate of two buildings per year. Details on the projects follows:

Construction Schedule:

Barlow: December 27, 1999 thru August 30, 2000

Weldin: May 15, 2000 thru January 12, 2001

Interior Renovation Highlights:

New elevator and full ADA compliance

State of the art fire safety equipment and sprinklers

New main entrance and front security desk

New 24-hour study lounges on each floor that can be used as teaching spaces

Thermostatic controls in each room

Upgraded electrical system and usable wattage in each room

Upgraded bathrooms

All new finishes, fixtures, and furniture

Laundry rooms on each floor

Other Highlights:

New village security outpost at north end of building

Upgraded landscaping

Building-wide emergency generator system servicing both Barlow and Weldin halls

Construction Management:

DuBose Associates (Hartford, CT) is the assigned project architect

Gilbane Corporation (Providence, RI) is the assigned program/project manager

Sells/Greene (Medford, MA) is the assigned contractor

URI Office of Capital Projects is the assigned University project oversight agent

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For More Information: Jhodi Redlich, 874-2116



 

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