30 R.I. towns, cities say ‘Yes on 4’ to benefit URI’s College of Engineering, Innovation Campus

Bond referendum Question 4 approved by 59 percent of state’s electorate

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 9, 2016 – Rhode Island voters from across the state gave the University of Rhode Island a resounding vote of support on Election Day, approving the $45.5 million bond issue to finalize improvements and expansion to its College of Engineering and establish a University-affiliated innovation campus program.

The passage of the bond issue means that Bliss Hall, the historic home of the College of Engineering, which was built in 1928, can be fully renovated and expanded. In addition, one or more innovation campuses will be established to tie University research with forward-thinking Rhode Island companies.

“Thank you to Rhode Island voters for their approval of Question 4 and their confidence in the University of Rhode Island,” President David M. Dooley said. “The approval of Question 4 means our College of Engineering will continue to expand its highly successful programs and enroll more students. Approval also means that Rhode Island will be able to launch an Innovation Campus program that will partner the University with the private sector and other higher education institutions to help create jobs, services and new products. Thank you Rhode Island for making the investment to prepare our state for the jobs of the future.”

Raymond Wright, dean of the College of Engineering, is also grateful for the state’s strong support.

“On behalf of the students, faculty and staff at the College of Engineering, I also want to thank the voters for their support of the state’s flagship University,” Wright said. “Clearly, Rhode Islanders see the University and the College of Engineering as critical to building a strong economy where all members of our state can prosper. We do not take such support lightly, and as always will work hard to serve our great state, our students and our industries with the highest levels of teaching and learning, research and service. Again, thank you to the wonderful people of Rhode Island.”

Question 4 gained approval in 30 of Rhode Island’s cities and towns. There were some remarkable levels of support in several communities, particularly the urban communities. Central Falls passed the bond by a whopping 80.4 percent, while 76.3 percent of voters in Providence supported Question 4. Pawtucket voted in favor by 67.7 percent and in Newport, just over 68 percent of voters supported the bond.

In suburban communities, South Kingstown led the way with 65.7 percent voting in favor, and almost 63 percent of Jamestown voters said yes. The bond received 62 percent of the vote in Narragansett. About 61 percent of Barrington and East Greenwich voters supported the bond.