KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 20, 2003 -- U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee and Jack Padien, executive director of the Independence Square Foundation, joined URI President Robert L. Carothers on Monday, October 20 to announce a $750,000 federal grant to expand the Independence Square Foundation facility at the University of Rhode Island. Sen. Chafee secured the grant in the FY 2003 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill.
The Independence Square Foundation (ISF) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation founded in 1983 with a mission of supporting the creation and acquisition of first class facilities for non-profit care providers. The Independence Square building at URI, which opened in 1993, is the result of a collaborative effort between non-profit care providers, the University, and the Foundation.
"The idea of having multiple non-profits in one large facility to save on overhead costs so they can use those savings for better services, facilities, and equipment is an excellent one," said Sen. Chafee. "Independence Square has taken that idea and made it work. Many non-profits, especially those that serve individuals with disabilities, will benefit from this expansion. I am particularly pleased that the children with learning disabilities served by the South Kingstown Farm School will have a home in the new facility," added Chafee.
The ISF is planning the construction of a 10,000-square-foot addition to its Independence Square building, located on Rte. 138 on leased land on the Kingston Campus.
The current facility houses the University's physical therapy program, its communicative disorders and exercise physiology programs, and numerous non-profit care providers.
As presently conceived, the first phase of the new addition will include office and program facilities for the South Kingstown Farm School and the Trudeau Center's Early Intervention Program, as well as a home for a proposed obesity research and education center. It will also provide additional space for the University's Department of Communicative Disorders, which currently operates a speech and hearing clinic in the building, and allow for expansion of the current treatment space of the URI physical therapy program. Rental space for other non-profit organizations will also be available.
Plans call for a second phase, which would include a new Child Development Center and a new conference center that will bring together academics and practitioners who work with individuals with disabilities.
The Foundation has been immensely successful at helping non-profit organizations expand their ability to provide treatment and services to the community. Through ISF's efforts, in addition to the Kingston facility, a second Independence Square site operates in Pawtucket, R.I., serving 18 non-profit organizations.
The $750,000 grant, to be used toward design and construction, represents about half of the estimated project cost for the first phase, 10,000-square-foot expansion. The ISF Board will finance the balance necessary to proceed while pursuing other funding sources to reduce the ultimate amount financed.
Saccoccio and Associates, Inc., of Cranston, R.I., the architect on the project, has developed a conceptual design and rendering of the expansion. The addition will be constructed within the existing land under lease to ISF, north of the Physical Therapy wing.