“Rhode Island is about to see the first tangible sign of what many envisioned for the former highway land,” begins a Providence Journal editorial praising the April 22 groundbreaking of JWU’s $40M, 3-story academic building to house the university’s School of Engineering & Design and a new biology program.
“Ray of Hope” for RI Economy
The ProJo calls the new building “all part of a plan by Johnson & Wales to build on its expertise in the culinary arts, culinary science, nutrition and health sciences,” noting that the multi-use facility will provide space for labs, classrooms, faculty offices and a food-service area.
“This activity … provides a ray of hope for a city and state that are looking to turn around the local economy and give college graduates and young professionals a reason to stay here.”
The ProJo also outlines other signs of growth in the zone between Downcity and the Jewelry District, including a joint public-private partnership to develop the long-derelict South Street Power Station.
The building will house:
- Alan Shawn Feinstein Technology & Design Center
- Biology labs that support physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and microbiology
- Faculty offices
- Outdoor courtyard designed to support collaborative learning
Scheduled to be completed in time for the start of JWU’s 2016-17 academic year, the new facility is also designed to be Leadership in Energy + Environmental Design-certified.