HOK Sport selected as architect for URI Convocation Center

KINGSTON, R.I. — February 9, 1999 — HOK Sport, a Kansas City architectural and engineering firm that has worked on more than 70 collegiate and professional convocation center and arena projects, has been named the architect for the University of Rhode Island Convocation Center project. Paul M. DePace, director of capital projects at URI, made the announcement today after the state Department of Administration approved the hiring of HOK Sport, following a competitive bid process. DePace headed a University committee that reviewed eight proposals from national and international firms and recommended unanimously that HOK be chosen for the project. “We have a very experienced and high quality team to help us design and construct the facility,” said DePace. “We have a good mix of national expertise in arena construction and proven local talent that will help us build a facility of which the state, the university, its students and alumni can be proud.” HOK Sport is reporting to the program manager, Gilbane Building Co., Providence, which is overseeing the project at the direction of the University. Among the areas to be addressed by HOK Sport and its consultants are facility design, site analysis, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering, landscape architecture, acoustics, transportation issues, and environmental permitting issues. HOK Sport has designed more than 450 athletic and recreational projects, including the United Center, home to the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, the new 8,000-seat Donald W. Reynolds Student Life and Convocation Center at the University of Tulsa, the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center at the University of Delaware, the speed skating venue for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and Arrowhead Pond, home to the NHL’s Mighty Ducks. Michael Hand, vice president and principal in charge of the Sports Facilities Group of HOK Sport, said in his proposal letter to the state of Rhode Island that these buildings can make remarkable differences for their institutions. “Excellent ones support successful athletic programs, make significant architectural additions to their campuses, serve events well, perform efficiently over time and create memories,” Hand said. “They also often serve as preferred venues for shows and other events which bring people onto campuses and strengthen universities’ bonds to their communities.” One of the critical members of the HOK team is the Providence-based Maguire Group, which is subcontracted to provide the major engineering services for the project. Harold Morsilli, the vice president and director of projects at Maguire, is the engineering manager for the project. Well-known in Rhode Island, Maguire is playing major roles in the McCoy Stadium renovations and expansion project, central steam plant and utility systems upgrades at URI, and the Mullins Center renovations at the University of Massachusetts. The $43.6 million Convocation Center project is the largest building endeavor ever at URI. It will be designed to host major University events, such as commencement and convocation ceremonies, basketball games and other athletic contests, alumni events, concerts and major cultural events. Currently, the University does not have a facility large enough to house large-scale events. The University enrolls about 10,320 undergraduate and 3,100 graduate students and has about 2,500 employees. For Further Information: Linda A. Acciardo, 401-874-2116 Dave Lavallee, 401-874-2116