URI breaks ground today on $10.6 million Ballentine Hall reconstruction, addition project

KINGSTON, R.I. — Nov. 17, 2000 — The University of Rhode Island broke ground today on a $10.6 million project to reconstruct and add onto Ballentine Hall, the home of the College of Business Administration, located on the northwest corner of the historic Quadrangle. Built in 1967, the 46,750-square-foot, three-story Ballentine Hall, will be stripped to its steel frame and floor slabs, and transformed into a state-of-the-art facility. The project also calls for a 5,300-square-foot addition to the south of the building. Completion is scheduled for June 2002. The building serves nearly 2,000 graduate and undergraduate business students each year, in addition to a number of business minors and other undergraduate students. Rhode Islanders’ support of two higher education bond issues in 1996, major donations from corporations and foundations, gifts from the College’s alumni and friends of URI and asset protection funds from URI have made the project possible. URI President Robert L. Carothers joined other URI officials and major alumni supporters for the ceremonies. He pointed to the Ballentine project as another effort by the University to rejuvenate campus life in all its phases-academic, residential and social, and cultural and athletic. “Take a walk or ride around campus, and see for yourself the transformation of our campus,” Carothers said during the ceremony. “In every corner there is change, growth and improvement. Ballentine Hall is one more step in the drive to provide our students with the best learning, living, and recreational spaces. It’s all part of the tone we have tried to set here at URI to create a new culture for learning. “Like the newly opened Barlow Hall and the Convocation Center, now under construction, Ballentine Hall will become a source of pride for our students, faculty, staff, and all Rhode Islanders.” “Renovation of Ballentine Hall is a tremendous step forward,” said Edward M. Mazze, dean of the college and the Alfred J. Verrecchia-Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business. “This improved and expanded building will help provide our students with a dynamic environment in which to learn. In addition, it will provide the College’s faculty with the tools and technology needed for research that reaches around the globe,” Mazze said. “Students will connect with the global marketplace through the latest technology and teaching spaces.” URI’s College of Business is home to well-known centers, such as the Institute for International Business, the Pacific-Basin Capital Markets Research Center, the Research Institute for Telecommunications and Information Marketing, and the Research Center for Business and Economics. Mazze added that Ballentine will serve as a great resource for businesses in the state. “When I came here, one of my goals was to make URI’s College of Business Administration the most business-friendly college in the state. This building will help us achieve that goal. The new Ballentine Hall will be a place where business people can meet, where they can connect with our faculty and drop by to meet with our students to talk about career opportunities.” The new building, inside and out Interior improvements to Ballentine will include tiered classrooms, small conference and lounge areas for group study and seminars, ports for computer connections, the new Alfred J. Verrecchia Atrium and improved office space for faculty and staff. The 5,300-square-foot addition, to be called the Vincent A. Sarni Wing, will be three stories high and will house various administrative offices, the College of Business Administration Executive Conference Room, and faculty offices and classrooms. The building will comply with federal regulations for access for the disabled. The architectural and engineering contract was awarded to Saccaccio Associates of Cranston, in conjunction with Goody Clancy Associates of Boston. Paul DePace, director of the University’s Office of Capital Projects, said: “When we were given the opportunity to construct this facility for the College, we knew that we wanted to keep it on the high profile site on the historic Quadrangle. “The decision was made to partially demolish the building on the current site, leaving the foundation, structural steel, and floor slabs in place and create the signature atrium and new space configurations within that frame,” DePace said. “This choice saved us more than $1 million and allowed us, among other things, to design some granite in the exterior facade and ensure that the first new structure built on the quadrangle in more than 30 years would complement the historic granite buildings.” During construction, URI business faculty, administration will be housed in a new 14,400-square-foot steel frame building for two years. Located on Flagg Road, the facility will provide 63 offices, and two conference rooms. When Ballentine is completed, the facility will house the faculty and staff from Independence Hall, when it is taken off-line for rehabilitation. For Information: Linda A. Acciardo 401-874-2116, Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116