A new business-school building is at the heart of Johnson & Wales University’s latest downtown-campus expansion plans, which also include a new technology-school building, dorms and offices.
The planned business school, one of up to eight new structures in a revised master plan that also includes major renovations on the campus, would be located at the corner of Chestnut Street and Friendship on land that used to include a piece of the former Interstate 195.
The new 80,000-95,000-square-foot building is expected to take a year to design and up to 16 months to build, according to Johnson & Wales Vice President of Facilities Management Christopher Placco, who said the school hopes to be ready to start construction once work rebuilding the street grid for the I-195 land is finished. In addition to classrooms, it will include a lecture hall and first-floor retail and café space.
After the business school, Placco said Johnson & Wales intends to renovate the Xavier Academic Complex on Pine Street before building a new 45,000 to 65,000-square-foot technology-school building on the opposite end of the block that will house the new business school.
The technology school is now using a former retail space on Mathewson Street that would be sold.
The new master plan slims down and realigns a 10-building master plan drawn up in 2008 that used 4 acres of I-Way land, including the valuable 2.3-acre Parcel 35 that stretches from Claverick Street to Interstate 95.
“It allows us to complete the urban university with a strong sense of identity, very clearly demarked as a university within the city,” Placco said.
Like it did in 2008, Johnson & Wales still hopes to create a second quad for the downtown campus – this time at Pine and Claverick instead of Parcel 35 – and connect with green space school buildings now isolated among surface parking lots.
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