KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 29, 2003 -- A dark-gray skeleton of structural steel has risen at the site of the University of Rhode Islands first Alumni Center, which will be a home away from home for 87,000 URI alumni.
Begun on Oct. 23, the structural steel work is now 70 percent complete for the three-story, 21,000-square-foot facility that will offer meeting and reception space for visiting alumni and friends. The facility on Upper College Road, located between the URI Foundation and the International Engineering House, will also provide office space for the 60 employees of the URI Division for University Advancement. Construction began in July.
Raffaele Rotondo, the construction superintendent for the general contractor, DePasquale Building and Realty, Warwick, said the structural steel installation is on hold while masonry crews prepare to install two concrete block stair towers and an elevator shaft.
"Once they are completed, then we will continue with the structural steel," Rotondo said, adding that underground plumbing work is also under way for the project, which is slated for completion in the fall of 2004.
"Seeing the structural steel going up has generated enthusiasm here on campus and among our alumni," said Michele Nota, executive director of the Alumni Association. "We now can envision what this new center is going to look like and what it is going to represent for our alumni. As we enter each new phase, I am sure the excitement will continue to grow."
The center is being built on the site of the former Sigma Chi fraternity house. The design provides for generous outdoor and indoor welcoming areas and features a shingled exterior with French doors, bays, gables, and front and rear porches.
On the first floor, a stone fireplace is a centerpiece of the 900-square-foot lounge and reception area that opens to both an executive boardroom and an alumni conference room with a grand bay window. The Alumni Office and the Department of Communications/News Bureau will be located on the first floor as well. The second floor will house the Office of the Vice President for Advancement and the Development Office. The Publications Office and Advancement Services will be located on the third floor.
Alumni leaders and University officials have long studied the feasibility of a multi-purpose Alumni Center. First proposed in 1980, the center was put on hold because of more pressing capital needs elsewhere on campus.
The state and the URI Alumni Association are sharing funding for the $4 million facility. The states share is being paid for through Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corp. revenue bonds. The Alumni Association is contributing $480,000 and has established an endowment to ensure the permanent availability of funds for the maintenance and enhancement of the building.
The architects are Lamborghini/Feibelman Ltd. and Gregory J. Snider of Providence.
For Further Information: Michele Nota 401-874-2242