Rhode Islanders to vote on bond issue for
URI, RIC, CCRI
Higher education Bond Issue #2 calls for facility upgrades
at the state's University and Colleges
PROVIDENCE, RI-- October 5, 1998 -- On November 3, voters will be asked
to show their support for higher education in Rhode Island with the approval
of a $20.99 million bond issue to improve facilities at the state's university
Referendum #2 requests funds for major rehabilitation of Independence
and Lippitt Halls on the University's Kingston Campus, renovation and restoration
of buildings on Rhode Island College's East and Main Campuses, and expansion
of the Providence Campus of the Community College of Rhode Island.
"Approval of Referendum #2 will allow our excellent system of public
higher education to continue its commitment to upgrade existing academic
facilities and provide the expansion necessary to meet the emerging needs
of the University, the College and the Community College," said Stephen
Hulbert, commissioner of Higher Education. "These projects will significantly
enhance our ability to provide to Rhode Islanders a system of higher education
of the highest quality."
Chairperson of the Board of Governors for Higher Education Sally Dowling
said that, "It's important for voters to understand that each of these
projects was carefully evaluated by the Board of Governors prior to their
inclusion in the higher education budget, a process by which each institution
provided clear documentation of the need for these initiatives.
"When Rhode Islanders vote to approve Referendum #2, they can rest
assured that the Board of Governors will continue to provide careful oversight
until the projects are successfully completed," added Chairperson Dowling.
The University of Rhode Island
For the University, passage of Referendum #2 will provide $5.06 million
for a major rehabilitation of Independence Hall, and $4.98 million for a
major rehabilitation of Lippitt Hall.
"Passage of this bond issue will go a long way to helping the University
provide the improved classrooms and laboratories that will match the level
of academic excellence we are building at the University," said URI
President Robert L. Carothers. "Such an investment will help to ensure
that these assets will be protected and serve our students well into the
URI Projects: Built in 1960 and located on Upper College Road,
Independence Hall houses the single largest complement of general
assignment classrooms at the University and serves the Departments of English,
Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, and Communication Studies.
The building is a critical resource for the delivery of the University's
general education programs, in which more than 10,000 undergraduate students
participate during their early years on campus.
Referendum #2 funds will permit the completion of a full renovation of
the 51,824 square foot, three-story masonry building. Improvements needed
include a complete replacement of heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient
window replacements, roof and door replacements, soundproofing to buffer
instructional spaces from street noise, plumbing, electrical, furnishings,
and other interior renovations.
The improvements provided for by these new funds will complement other
investments that have been made in the building through private donations,
the state telecommunications initiative, and asset protection funds. Continued
investment in Independence Hall reflects both the building's condition and
its strategic importance to the educational mission of the University.
Located on the URI Quadrangle, Lippitt Hall is a 36,852 square
foot, three-story granite building. Built in 1897 as a combination dining
hall and gymnasium, this historic building has been modified several times
throughout its 101-year lifetime. Lippitt now houses offices for the URI
Honors Program, the Department of Resource Economics, and a portion of the
University's Computer Center. The Central Steam Plant, which is undergoing
extensive renovation in conjunction with the University's Steam Plant Replacement
Project, is located in an addition to the building.
Funding from this bond issue would provide for a full renovation of the
building's interior and exterior and would address all existing inadequacies,
including the lack of restrooms on the first floor, a lack of accessibility
for those with disabilities, and a central wooden staircase that no longer
meets state code requirements.
RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE
For RIC, approval of the bond will provide $4.3 million for the adaptive
reuse of former Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) buildings
on the East Campus and restoration of academic facilities on the Main Campus.
"The College is in great need of additional space for its academic
programs and this is the very best way to provide that space," said
RIC President John Nazarian. "Redevelopment of the former Children's
Center buildings into academic, student support, and administrative facilities
is the most cost-effective way of relieving congestion and overcrowding
that currently exists on the main campus. Experience has shown us that the
existing structures can be renovated and made fully functional for well
under one-half the cost of demolition and new construction."
RIC Projects: In 1992, Rhode Island College acquired the 45-acre
parcel directly adjacent to its Mt. Pleasant Campus that formerly served
as the Dr. Patrick I. O'Rourke Children's Center and more recently housed
the DCYF. The agency expects to complete its move from the property by 2000.
The College has identified this area as its East Campus.
Buildings on the East Campus were originally constructed to serve as
cottages for children in state care. These brick-exterior block-style buildings
were built between 1952 and 1965. In these facilities, there is a need for
asbestos removal, improved handicapped accessibility, replacement of windows
and doors, more efficient and effective heating plants and central air conditioning,
improved lighting, correction of major storm drain and communications system
deficiencies, and extensive interior reconfiguration and refinishing.
The East Campus development will relieve overcrowding in RIC's Main Campus
academic buildings. Over the years, program expansion has required the conversion
of a number of classrooms into offices for student and administrative support
services and to house the growth of academic programs themselves. The relocation
of certain functions to the East Campus will permit the restoration of some
12,500 square feet of Main Campus space to its original academic purpose.
A portion of the bond proceeds will be used for this restoration, primarily
for space located in Alger Hall, Craig-Lee Hall, Gaige Hall, Horace Mann
Hall, Adams Library, and the former School of Social Work Building.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND
For CCRI, passage of this bond issue will provide $6.65 million for an
addition to the Providence Campus.
"Since opening in 1990, the CCRI Providence Campus has been the
port of entry for many Rhode Island residents who would not otherwise have
had access to a college education. Today, nearly 2,000 students attend classes
at this campus and enrollment continues to grow," said CCRI
Executive Vice President Robert G. Henderson.
CCRI Projects: While some overcrowding of this heavily used facility
was relieved by a 1996 renovation project, the CCRI Providence Campus remains
far too limited to meet current and projected student demand. This project
calls for an addition of approximately 40,000 square feet, which will include
12 new lecture and laboratory classrooms, academic offices, and student
study areas. Additional parking will also be provided to accommodate up
to 100 vehicles.
In keeping with the Community College's mission as the primary point
of higher education access for all Rhode Islanders, the addition will also
house an on-site day care center. This will enable many students, particularly
those who are single parents, to pursue or to complete their degrees, thereby
providing the skills and knowledge necessary for the demands of today's
For More Information: Linda Acciardo, URI (874-2116)