Renovations at RIC

Building 7, above, Building 3, Donovan Dining Center and the pool area of the Recreation Center are among the campus sites currently undergoing renovations. Also, a 10-year master plan for campus facilities is being developed.

Building 3
Though summer break is here and fewer students are in class, RIC is far from quiet as the sounds of drills, hammers and saws are evident around campus.

The Building 7 renovation project on the East Campus, which will house the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, is about 80 percent complete. The building – which will bring all the activities of the Sherlock Center under one roof – will feature a resource library, training center, offices and an e-classroom as well as enhanced walkways, parking and lighting.

Founded at RIC in 1993, the Sherlock Center promotes membership of individuals with disabilities in school, work and the community. Its projects and initiatives provide training, technical assistance, service, research and information sharing.

Building 3 on the East Campus is expected to open before the start of the fall 2009 semester. It will have two levels, housing both academic and administrative offices and classrooms – including the new headquarters of the Financial Aid Office.

A primary feature of the building will be a Café that will offer easier access for students, faculty and staff on the East Campus.

Donovan Dining Center
Donovan Dining Center will undergo changes in several phases beginning this summer, when new menu and electronic bulletin boards will be installed and some areas will get a new coat of paint. During the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters, a new storage area will be built, new carpeting added and improvements will be made to the HVAC system. Following commencement 2010, the existing serving area will be gutted and a new one installed.

Renovations to the Recreation Center’s swimming pool area are nearing completion. New lights as well as new water heating and dehumidification systems are being installed to upgrade the infrastructure of the 10,000-square-foot pool, which remains open while the work is being done.

In addition to the pool, the Recreation Center features an indoor track, a cardiovascular/weight training room, courts for basketball, volleyball and tennis, and an aerobic dance and fitness facility.

In other renovation updates, the STEM Center initiative has resulted in major upgrades being made to classrooms in Fogarty Life Science Building, Gaige Hall, Horace Mann Hall and Clarke Science Building. The STEM Center project is a multi-year state program to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Rhode Island schools.

Work on the President’s Illuminated Walkway work is also ongoing. At just over a mile long, the walkway will offer a secure, cross-campus route from the residence halls on the western side of the campus to the School of Social Work on the East Campus. A dedication event is planned for early in the fall 2009 semester, though work on the project will continue after that.

Future projects will soon be on the drawing board thanks to a facilities planning process now underway. An implementation committee has been formed to work with consultants in developing a 10-year master plan for the campus facilities.

Michael Smith, assistant to the president, said, however, that “we won’t see shovels in the ground for major master plan projects for a while because developing the plan itself and gaining the necessary approvals will take some time.” And, he added, funding must then be identified and secured for the specific projects that will go through the design, bid and approval process.

“Still, the genesis of many projects of great importance to the future of Rhode Island College will be determined through these ongoing campus discussions,” Smith said. “That is why wide input is sought.”

Recreation Center swimming pool