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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Independence Square Foundation to open new facility at URI, home for Kinesiology Department

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Open House and ribbon-cutting to showcase new home for Kinesiology Department, Jan. 12

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 6, 2009 -- The University of Rhode Island's Kinesiology Department officially moves into its new home when the Independence Square Foundation opens its latest facility on the University's Kingston campus.

An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the two-story, 29,700-square-foot building will be held on Monday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. Among the dignitaries who will speak at the event are John Padien III, executive director of Independence Square Foundation, Sen. Jack Reed, Robert L. Carothers, URI president, and Robert A. Weygand, URI vice president for administration.

The open house is expected to run for three hours, and guests will be able to see each of the areas of the building. URI kinesiology students will be on hand to give tours of the department's new home.

The lower level of the facility which consists of four separate suites will house the URI Kinesiology Department's classrooms and laboratories, First Step Day Care Center and the Independence Transitional Academy, a special education school in the South Kingstown school system. The upper level will have administrative offices for the URI Kinesiology Department and the Trudeau Center Early Intervention Office.

The lower level for the Kinesiology Department will include classroom space, a human performance laboratory for scientific research and a health fitness laboratory. With 580 students, kinesiology is among the fastest growing academic programs at URI.

"With the increase in the number of students in the kinesiology program, the additional space is very helpful," said Deb Riebe, chair of the Kinesiology Department. "The upgrade in facilities is marvelous and will help significantly with the research and educational components of our program."

Padien, and Weygand worked closely to maintain the strong relationship between the Independence Square Foundation and URI. With the move, the kinesiology program is located next to the URI physical therapy program, which is housed in the original Independence Square Facility, built in 1993.

"Moving so close to the physical therapy program is good for the students in kinesiology because many of them are interested in pursuing physical therapy for graduate school," Riebe said.

Founded in 1983, the Independence Square Foundation's mission is to provide non-profit care-giver organizations with the first-class work environments and facilities they deserve, but may not be able to afford on their own. The foundation provides homes for 23 not-for-profit agencies at its Kingston and Pawtucket locations.

The Foundation has helped various non-profit organizations maximize their funds by sharing space, overhead and expertise, and by creating synergies among themselves. The economies that result from these collaborations allow non-profits to direct more of their funds to their specific mission.