URBAN EXPANSION: Johnson & Wales University’s new master plan calls for between six and eight new buildings, shown in orange above, to be constructed over the next 10 years in Providence.
By Patrick Anderson PBN Staff Writer
A new business-school building is at the heart of Johnson & Wales University’s latest downtown-campus expansion plans, which also include a new technology-school building, dorms and offices.
The planned business school, one of up to eight new structures in a revised master plan that also includes major renovations on the campus, would be located at the corner of Chestnut Street and Friendship on land that used to include a piece of the former Interstate 195.
The new 80,000-95,000-square-foot building is expected to take a year to design and up to 16 months to build, according to Johnson & Wales Vice President of Facilities Management Christopher Placco, who said the school hopes to be ready to start construction once work rebuilding the street grid for the I-195 land is finished. In addition to classrooms, it will include a lecture hall and first-floor retail and café space.
After the business school, Placco said Johnson & Wales intends to renovate the Xavier Academic Complex on Pine Street before building a new 45,000 to 65,000-square-foot technology-school building on the opposite end of the block that will house the new business school.
The technology school is now using a former retail space on Mathewson Street that would be sold.
The new master plan slims down and realigns a 10-building master plan drawn up in 2008 that used 4 acres of I-Way land, including the valuable 2.3-acre Parcel 35 that stretches from Claverick Street to Interstate 95.
“It allows us to complete the urban university with a strong sense of identity, very clearly demarked as a university within the city,” Placco said.
Like it did in 2008, Johnson & Wales still hopes to create a second quad for the downtown campus – this time at Pine and Claverick instead of Parcel 35 – and connect with green space school buildings now isolated among surface parking lots.