URI’s new $68 million Chemistry Center to create 1200 jobs

By Alana Cerrone


The University of Rhode Island is beginning construction on a new $68 million center that’s expected to bring 1,200 jobs to Rhode Island.

Officials broke ground Monday afternoon at the site of the future Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences.

The sustainable-design Center will serve over 7,000 URI students who take chemistry each year, providing chemistry instruction to about 1,400 students a day. It will expand the amount of lab space available from the current facility, Pastore Hall, which was built in 1953 to hold 800 students.

“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,” URI President David M. Dooley said. “This facility will be a cornerstone of discovery and innovation and, in turn, economic vitality for Rhode Island.

“Chemistry is the foundation to many vital research and teaching endeavors and future jobs, whether it’s in the health sciences, biotechnology, energy, the environment, pharmacy, nursing or high technology. Chemistry is both a building block and the bedrock foundation for these disciplines and many more,” added the president, a scientist, chemist and active researcher.

Officials say the project could create 1,200 jobs in construction, trades, architecture, engineering, management, teaching and research.

The Center will be built at the site of a former parking lot between the Chafee Social Science Center and White Hall, home to the College of Nursing, and will join the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences and the new College of Pharmacy building to complete the Health and Life Science District. The project is expected to be completed for spring of 2016.

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