The University of Rhode Island’s new chemistry building is set to open in the spring of 2016, and students are looking forward to a quieter campus upon its completion.
The new chemistry building has been under construction for nine months according to Capital Projects Director Paul DePace. The construction has been a constant distraction to classes nearby in Chafee and White Hall. Classes in Chafee experience vibrations during the afternoon, and it is difficult for students to concentrate. But, if students think that construction will slow down after completion of the chemistry building, they need to think again.
“The university is a vibrant place,” DePace said. “We are continually looking to improve and expand the facilities on all four campuses.”
URI spends an average of $60 million a year on construction and the new chemistry building is a $70 million project according to DePace. This fall, the College of Engineering Bond Referendum will be on the ballot and is asking for $125 million in state bond funds to construct a new college of engineering.
“There will always be major renovation projects,” said DePace. “And new construction projects going on.”
Another project taking place on campus is a new expansion to the Butterfield Dining Hall. This project is expected to be a bit more disruptive because the construction is taking place in the middle of a residential zone, and they will have to “blast” rock from underneath the dining hall.
Small steps are being taken in an attempt to avoid disturbing nearby classes and students living in residential buildings. Construction workers start their workday at 7 a.m., but refrain from starting heavy machinery until 8 a.m.