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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

URI to break ground on project to transform
home of state's oldest business college

Students, alumni, dignitaries to celebrate renovation,
addition to Ballentine Hall

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Oct. 24, 2000 -- Sod and soil will be flying when the University of Rhode Island breaks ground Friday, Nov. 17 on the $10.6 million project to transform Ballentine Hall into a state-of-the-art business education facility.

University officials, prominent alumni and students will start the celebration at 10:30 a.m. on the lawn in front of Ballentine Hall, the home of URI's College of Business Administration, the oldest nationally accredited business college in the state. The groundbreaking program and a panel discussion at 1:30 p.m. on "The Business of Business, Challenges and Issues Facing business in the 21st Century" will feature URI graduates who have become leaders in the global economy. The panel discussion will be held in the Galanti Lounge of the University Library.

The project involves the rehabilitation and improvement of Ballentine Hall, a 46,750 square-foot, three-story structure built in 1967 on the northwest corner of the Kingston Quadrangle. The current structure will be stripped to its steel frame, and a new facility will be constructed. A 10,000-square-foot addition is also part of the project. The addition and other improvements are being funded through a combination of state, University and private dollars. As of early fall, URI had raised $5.3 million or 95 percent of the $5.6 million Shareholders Campaign goal to renovate the building.

Speakers for the groundbreaking ceremony will be Robert L. Carothers, URI president; Richard Harrington, chairman of the Shareholders Campaign and chief executive officer of the Thomson Corp., a leading information provider, both online and in print in the areas of legal, regulatory, financial services, scientific and health care; Edward R. Mazze, dean of the URI College of Business Administration and the Alfred J. Verrecchia- Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business; Robert M. Beagle, vice president for University Advancement; and Alfred J. Verrecchia, president and chief operating officer of international toy giant, Hasbro Inc., Pawtucket. Harrington will provide an update on the Shareholders Campaign and Verrecchia will give a keynote talk on the "Importance of Business Education." Harrington and Verrecchia are both graduates of URI's College of Business Administration.

The panelists for the 1:30 p.m. program will be Sid Cohen, former president of domestic television distribution, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.; Cynthia Deysher, vice president of finance administration and chief financial officer, ArrowPoint Communications, Canton, Mass., which provides web switches and web network services software that allow customers to optimize the use of the web; Wendy P. Field, executive director of Warburg Dillon Read LLC, which is a division UBS, the second-largest bank in Europe and one of the top 10 in the world; and Harrington. All are graduates of URI's business college.

The moderator will be Frank Budnick, former dean and URI professor of management science.

The panel discussion and groundbreaking ceremonies are all designed to highlight the critical role of business education in today's business climate and the need for a building that will have a new look and feel, both inside and out.

Interior improvements will include tiered classrooms, small conference and lounge areas for group study and seminars, ports for computer connections, a new atrium and improved office space for faculty and staff.

A new 10,000-square-foot addition will be three stories high and will house various administrative offices, the College of Business Administration Executive Conference Room and classrooms and offices on the two lower floors.

The goal is to create a center for the College of Business Administration and the businesses of Rhode Island that meets and exceeds the needs of demanding students and the business world for the decades ahead.

The architectural and engineering contract was awarded to Saccaccio Associates of Cranston, in conjunction with Goody Clancy Associates of Boston. Schematic design is complete, and plans are being made to vacate Ballentine Hall. The faculty and staff will be relocated to a temporary facility being constructed to the west of the campus.

For Information: Linda A. Acciardo 401-874-2116,
Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116


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