Gilbane named program manager for URI Convocation Center

KINGSTON, R.I. — January 28, 1999 — Gilbane Building Co. has been selected as the program manager for the $43.6 million Convocation Center project at the University of Rhode Island, the largest building project in URI’s history. The $2 million contract calls for the Providence-based company to oversee planning, programming, design and construction. Gilbane will also serve as the program manager for the separate $7.4 million ice skating facility. Because Gilbane will be acting as the University’s agent during the project, the company is prohibited from acting as the construction firm. Construction firms will be selected through a competitive bid process. Gilbane will coordinate the work of the architect and later the construction company selected, and will report to Paul M. DePace, registered professional engineer and URI’s director of capital projects. The firm has managed or is managing large convocation center/arena projects for Brown University, Michigan State, Harvard University, Ohio State, The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Maryland, Washington State University, and Columbia University. The URI Convocation Center will be designed to host major University events, such as commencement and convocation ceremonies, basketball games and other athletic contests, concerts and major cultural events. Currently, the University does not have a facility large enough to house such major events. The largest venue on the Kingston Campus is Keaney Gymnasium, with a seating capacity of 3,385. Keaney, which was completed in 1953 for a student body of 2,183, long ago became obsolete as a facility able to house campus and athletic events for a student body that has grown to 13,000. DePace said naming Gilbane as the program manager marks the first time the state and University have used a program manager for a major project. “Gilbane brings the necessary resources and expertise to manage a project of this nature and size,” DePace said. Gilbane’s recent public projects in Rhode Island include T.F. Green Airport and the Rhode Island Convention Center. There is an aggressive timetable for completion of the URI Convocation Center, with construction expected to begin in March of 2000, with the center’s doors opening for its first event in November 2001. Financing for the Convocation Center will include $15 million in private gifts, $18 million in state appropriations and $10.6 million in revenue bonds. For Further Information: Linda A. Acciardo 401-874-2116 Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116