BRISTOL – Roger Williams University plans a spring groundbreaking for its School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management Labs, according to a press release on the university website.
University trustees approved the plan after considering potential alternate sites on campus and objections raised in a fall forum. Permitting and financing are the next steps for the project, with a spring 2018 groundbreaking planned.
The new, three-story building will be adjacent to the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business and the Feinstein College of Arts & Sciences, and is a strategic move, said SECCM Dean Robert Potter.
“Yes, small classes and the delivery of student-centered instruction are an asset, but that only goes so far,” he said in the release. “When students walk through and see the new facilities, we are going to become more competitive and continue to grow.”
The construction manager for the new facility is Shawmut Design and Construction of Providence. Shawmut Project Executive Kyle Lloyd graduated from Roger Williams University in 1998, with a construction-management degree. University President Donald J. Farish said the various elements of the project give it great synergy.
“This is a building by the industry, for the industry,” Farish said. “We have Rhode Island’s only accredited construction-management program, and the industry is partnering with us.”
The 27,325-square-foot building will include a two-story construction-management high bay with an overhead crane; a fluid mechanics laboratory; and a building information modeling/virtual reality laboratory.
“Overall, the SECCM Labs will give [students] the ability to use modernized, state-of-the-art laboratories across all three programs [engineering, computing and construction management],” said Nathaniel Ginsburg, project architect for Providence-based Brewster Thornton Group Architects. “Spaces in this new building will be constructed to allow teaching in a very hands-on, interactive way.”
Provost Andrew Workman said labs in the existing engineering building will be renovated into multipurpose classrooms and general-science labs.
Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributor.