Joseph Lachance | Through rain and shine, construction continues on the Brookside Apartments, set to be completed by fall 2019.

Construction of the new Brookside Apartment complex is on schedule to be completed by the fall of 2019, adding an on-campus living option for upperclassmen students.

Brookside will include apartment options for groups of four or six students to live together. In each apartment, students will have their own room along with two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a furnished common area. These apartments will provide rooms for an additional 500 students to live on campus.

Currently, construction is occurring on the basic infrastructure and exterior of the building. Workers are focused on completing the roof and siding before Winter comes. This way they can continue to work on the interior features of the building without the worry of being delayed by the weather.

“There was some initial questioning and anxiety, but right now we’re feeling good,” Director of Housing and Residential Life Frankie Minor said. “The project manager tracks it on a daily basis, and I’m going to be meeting with them on a bi-weekly basis for regular project updates.”

The project is still owned by Bacon Construction but is scheduled to be turned over to the University of Rhode Island in early July. The project must reach its “substantial completion date” which indicates that it is mostly complete before the University can assume responsibility for the project.

“The steel structure erection is substantially complete and fireproofing of the steel is scheduled to be complete within the next two weeks,” project manager Mark Fisher said. Stairwells are being constructed, drainage for the site and electrical systems are also being completed at the current moment.

Brookside will be reserved primarily for juniors and seniors who would like to live on campus. On the ground floor of the building, there will be a grab-and-go food service and a demonstration kitchen. These amenities were added to teach students basic cooking skills, as well as offer them a convenient food service.

“Brookside is geared towards preparing students for eventually leaving the University,” Minor said.

Minor also believes that a number of students who live off campus will move back, as the complex brings numerous convenience factors along with it. Students will have quick access to on-campus parking, which makes it easier for them to stay involved with clubs and organizations, as well as make it to class on days with inclement weather.

“If it’s a snowy day and you have to get up, shovel out your car, drive 15 minutes, find parking, walk another 10 minutes to catch the bus to class versus rolling out of bed and walking five minutes, which one are you more likely to not bother doing and skip class,” Minor said.

“Students who live on campus are more involved with clubs, organizations and activities because it’s easier for them. All of these things contribute to the primary reason people go to college, to get a degree.”

Brookside will also offer students a unique indoor-outdoor living situation. Similar to Hillside Hall, there will be spaces outside for students to sit and study. In addition, there will be an extension of the William C. O’Neill bike path which runs from Kingston Station to Narragansett Town Beach.

“There’s always a concept or design and then there’s the reality of what happens,” Minor said. “I’m excited about the project. There are some really neat elements that are there.”

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Ian Weiner
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