URI: Chemistry center will create 1,200 construction, research jobs

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and state legislators will join University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley and other school officials on Monday afternoon for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the URI Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences. More

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URI: Chemistry center will create 1,200 construction, research jobs

COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND
THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, May 5, to mark the beginning of early construction on its $68 million Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences. Above, a rendering of the new building.
Posted 5/5/14

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and state legislators will join University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley and other school officials on Monday afternoon for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the URI Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences.

The event will mark the early phase of construction on the $68 million project, which is expected to create about 1,200 jobs in construction, trades, architecture, engineering, management, teaching and research, URI said.

Funded in part through a $61 million bond issue approved by Rhode Island voters in 2010, the five-story, 135,000-square-foot building at URI’s South Kingstown campus will include eight general chemistry teaching labs, five organic chemistry teaching labs, an advanced chemistry teaching lab and 18 faculty research labs, as well as 240-seat and 105-seat lecture halls, and offices for faculty and lab managers.

URI said the center will allow faculty to compete more effectively for research grants and move scientific discoveries into the marketplace more rapidly.

“We are grateful to the people of Rhode Island for having the foresight to support a project that is directly related to the kind of economy we are trying to build in the state,” said Dooley in a statement. “This facility will be a cornerstone of discovery and innovation and, in turn, economic vitality for Rhode Island.”

The facility will triple the amount of space for teaching labs and double the space for research labs compared with current chemistry labs in URI’s Pastore Hall, which was built in 1953 to accommodate 800 students. Approximately 1,400 students will attend chemistry classes in the new building each day, URI said.

In addition, the center will house URI’s Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response, a research and training center certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and launched through a $5.15 million federal grant in 2008 within URI’s chemistry department.

The building was designed by William Wilson Architects of Boston and will be built by Bacon Construction Co. Inc. in a portion of the parking lot situated between the Chafee Social Science Center and White Hall. The current projected completion date is spring 2016.

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