URI to launch campaign seeking passage of bond referendum for new engineering building

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‘Engineering Rhode Island’s future’ seeks support for Question 4

WHO: Lincoln D. Chafee, governor of Rhode Island; Nicholas A. Mattiello, speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives; David M. Dooley, president of the University of Rhode Island; Michael Brandmeier, president and chief executive officer of Toray Plastics (America) Inc; Cheryl Merchant, president and chief executive officer of Hope Global; John Hazen White, Jr., president of Taco, Inc.; Raymond M. Wright, dean of URI’s College of Engineering; other business and government leaders, URI alumni and students.

WHAT: Official launch of campaign, “Engineering Rhode Island’s Future” in support Question 4 on the ballot. Approval of the $125 million referendum for higher education facilities will fund construction of a new URI engineering building, which is vital to URI’s and the state’s future, as the current 50-year-old facilities do not match the innovative research being conducted and demanded by contemporary engineering firms. It will also accommodate a projected 18 percent increase in student enrollment for a college that has seen the number of undergraduates grow by about 39 percent over the last decade.

DETAILS: The 195,000-square-foot building will replace five existing engineering buildings on URI’s Kingston campus, all of which opened in the late 1950s and early 1960s. More than 4,000 URI engineering alumni live in Rhode Island and work at about 750 companies in the state. The College of Engineering contributes about $142 million to the Rhode Island economy each year, based on a 2013 economic impact study.

The engineering project will create about 1,500 construction and professional service jobs over the three-year construction period.

WHEN: Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Toray Plastics (America) Inc., Quonset Business Park, 50 Belver Ave.,
North Kingstown, R.I.

PLEASE CONTACT: Dave Lavallee, URI Marketing & Communications to make coverage and parking arrangements at 401-874-5862.

September 25, 2014