URIs Ballentine Hall $10.6M project proceeding,
structural steelwork for addition complete
KINGSTON, R.I. -- Jan. 23, 2002 -- Workers have completed the steel framework for the new wing of Ballentine Hall as demolition on the existing structure continues in preparation for the transformation of the home of the University of Rhode Islands College of Business Administration.
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Site preparation work for the additions foundation and underground utilities began in July, and demolition began Nov. 1. The $10.6 million project is being funded by $5.6 million in private donations raised through the Universitys Shareholders Campaign, with $5 million coming from Rhode Island bond issues and URI asset protection funds.
"Our faculty, students, alumni and shareholders of the Ballentine Campaign are excited about the progress being made on the construction project," said Edward M. Mazze, dean of the URI College of Business Administration and the Alfred J. Verrecchia-Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business. "We look forward to having a state-of-the-art facility and becoming a major center for education for business in Rhode Island and the region."
The project was delayed about four months when Ballentine was pressed into service as a temporary home for faculty and staff of the Chafee Social Science Center, which was closed Dec. 23, 2000 because tests detected elevated levels of PCBs.
The last faculty and staff members from Chafee moved out of Ballentine in November as the lower floors of Chafee were remediated, cleaned, and retested to make sure that air and dust samples were well below federal limits.
"With our new timetable, we are right on schedule and on budget. Were looking forward to completion in spring of 2003," said Raymond Carroll, the project manager in the Universitys office of capital projects.
Built in 1967 on the northeast corner of the Quadrangle, the 46,750-square-foot, three-story Ballentine Hall is being stripped to its steel frame and floor slabs, and transformed into a state-of-the art facility. A wing will be named in honor of former Cranston and Providence resident Vincent A. Sarni, a 1949 accounting graduate of the former Rhode Island State College. The former chief executive officer of PPG Industries made a $1 million donation to the campaign.
The atrium will be named in honor of Alfred J. Verrecchia, URI class of 1967, holder of an MBA from URI, and president and chief operating officer of Hasbro Inc. Hasbro and Verrecchia donated a combined $1.5 million to support the building campaign and to endow the first chair in the college.
Carroll said Berkshire Construction Services of East Greenwich is the general contractor and is performing the demolition work.
"Currently, the third floor and second floors are pretty much demolished, but the block walls on the first will remain for a short period to protect the interior workers from the weather," Carroll said."
Carroll said the demolition would be substantially complete in February. The next step will be to reinforce the steel of the original structure so it can support the newer and more extensive uses of the building. In February, work will start on the atrium. In the spring, work will begin on the granite exterior.
Already, the addition shows the distinctive curved roof outlined by the steelwork.