University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley has been a proponent of the construction of a URI-Rhode Island College joint teaching and research facility in Providence as a way to satisfy the growing need to train more nurses in the Ocean State as well as a way to spur economic activity in the city’s Knowledge District.
While the nursing facility introduced last year in Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee’s budget as a bond issue was designed to be put on this month’s ballot, the measure did not make it to the floor of the General Assembly, and Dooley was not necessarily disappointed in that.
He has been a proponent of having the state commit to a long-term lease in the proposed facility (as opposed to committing to a bond), which would allow a private developer to build a larger project that could include space for biotech companies to do research and/or manufacturing.
In the end, the state would be able to educate more nurses at a cutting-edge facility, while also having a greater inventory of laboratory space within the city district that also includes Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, as well as Rhode Island and Women and Infants Hospitals. And he contends that the state would save from $15 million to $20 million a year compared with what it would cost to expand nursing education facilities on both the RIC and URI campuses.
Do you agree with him that this facility is needed?