URI breaks ground today on $10.6 million
Ballentine Hall reconstruction, addition project
KINGSTON, R.I. -- Nov. 17, 2000 -- The University of Rhode Island broke
ground today on a $10.6 million project to reconstruct and add onto Ballentine
Hall, the home of the College of Business Administration, located on the
northwest corner of the historic Quadrangle.
Built in 1967, the 46,750-square-foot, three-story Ballentine Hall,
will be stripped to its steel frame and floor slabs, and transformed into
a state-of-the-art facility. The project also calls for a 5,300-square-foot
addition to the south of the building. Completion is scheduled for June
The building serves nearly 2,000 graduate and undergraduate business
students each year, in addition to a number of business minors and other
Rhode Islanders' support of two higher education bond issues in 1996,
major donations from corporations and foundations, gifts from the College's
alumni and friends of URI and asset protection funds from URI have made
the project possible.
URI President Robert L. Carothers joined other URI officials and major
alumni supporters for the ceremonies. He pointed to the Ballentine project
as another effort by the University to rejuvenate campus life in all its
phases-academic, residential and social, and cultural and athletic.
"Take a walk or ride around campus, and see for yourself the transformation
of our campus," Carothers said during the ceremony. "In every
corner there is change, growth and improvement. Ballentine Hall is one more
step in the drive to provide our students with the best learning, living,
and recreational spaces. It's all part of the tone we have tried to set
here at URI to create a new culture for learning.
"Like the newly opened Barlow Hall and the Convocation Center, now
under construction, Ballentine Hall will become a source of pride for our
students, faculty, staff, and all Rhode Islanders."
"Renovation of Ballentine Hall is a tremendous step forward,"
said Edward M. Mazze, dean of the college and the Alfred J. Verrecchia-Hasbro
Inc. Leadership Chair in Business. "This improved and expanded building
will help provide our students with a dynamic environment in which to learn.
In addition, it will provide the College's faculty with the tools and technology
needed for research that reaches around the globe," Mazze said. "Students
will connect with the global marketplace through the latest technology and
URI's College of Business is home to well-known centers, such as the
Institute for International Business, the Pacific-Basin Capital Markets
Research Center, the Research Institute for Telecommunications and Information
Marketing, and the Research Center for Business and Economics. Mazze added
that Ballentine will serve as a great resource for businesses in the state.
"When I came here, one of my goals was to make URI's College of
Business Administration the most business-friendly college in the state.
This building will help us achieve that goal. The new Ballentine Hall will
be a place where business people can meet, where they can connect with our
faculty and drop by to meet with our students to talk about career opportunities."
The new building, inside and out
Interior improvements to Ballentine will include tiered classrooms, small
conference and lounge areas for group study and seminars, ports for computer
connections, the new Alfred J. Verrecchia Atrium and improved office space
for faculty and staff.
The 5,300-square-foot addition, to be called the Vincent A. Sarni Wing,
will be three stories high and will house various administrative offices,
the College of Business Administration Executive Conference Room, and faculty
offices and classrooms. The building will comply with federal regulations
for access for the disabled.
The architectural and engineering contract was awarded to Saccaccio Associates
of Cranston, in conjunction with Goody Clancy Associates of Boston.
Paul DePace, director of the University's Office of Capital Projects,
said: "When we were given the opportunity to construct this facility
for the College, we knew that we wanted to keep it on the high profile site
on the historic Quadrangle.
"The decision was made to partially demolish the building on the
current site, leaving the foundation, structural steel, and floor slabs
in place and create the signature atrium and new space configurations within
that frame," DePace said. "This choice saved us more than $1 million
and allowed us, among other things, to design some granite in the exterior
facade and ensure that the first new structure built on the quadrangle in
more than 30 years would complement the historic granite buildings."
During construction, URI business faculty, administration will be housed
in a new 14,400-square-foot steel frame building for two years. Located
on Flagg Road, the facility will provide 63 offices, and two conference
rooms. When Ballentine is completed, the facility will house the faculty
and staff from Independence Hall, when it is taken off-line for rehabilitation.
For Information: Linda A. Acciardo 401-874-2116,
Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116