PROVIDENCE – On Thursday, May 30, the Rhode Island School of Design will host a groundbreaking ceremony to launch the three-year construction project for the renovation of its illustration studies building.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the parking lot at the corner of North Main Street and Washington Place.
RISD’s illustration department has been housed in a former chemical and dye plant, located on 55 Canal, since 1979. The building, which was built in 1848, was last renovated in 1967.
According to the school, illustration is currently the largest undergraduate major at RISD, with nearly 300 students and more than 40 full- and part-time faculty. The three-year renovation plan will revitalize the 43,500 square feet of studio, classroom, gallery and home space that comprises the building.
RISD said the “heart of the project” is a 5,600-square-foot addition that will make the old building fully handicapped-accessible. The five-story addition will house a code-compliant stairway, elevators and restrooms.
The renovation was designed by RISD alumnus Ed Wojcik, with Shawmut Construction, and will cost $12.1 million in total.
According to the school, a $5.5 million fundraising goal has been set and fundraising efforts are under way.