PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Tuesday morning, Rhode Island College welcomed students, faculty, staff, alumni, state officials and community members to celebrate the much-anticipated renovation of Gaige Hall. Speakers included Governor Raimondo; President Sánchez; Barbara Cottam, Chair, Board of Education; Bill Foulkes, Chair Postsecondary Council; Earl Simson, Dean, Faculty Arts and Sciences; and Joshua Hamilton, Provost/Vice President, Academic Affairs.
“Education is the key to economic mobility,” Raimondo said. “We’re investing in RIC because we know that in today’s world, a college degree is the key to success. Over the past two years, we’ve made great strides toward making college more affordable, including offering free PSAT and SAT tests, cutting out-of-pocket student expenses with the Open Textbook Initiative, and this fall, becoming the fourth state in the nation to offer free community college. The new Gaige Hall is a powerful symbol of our state’s dedication to creating opportunity for all.”
A significant part of the revitalization of RIC’s campus, the 64,655-square-foot Gaige Hall features new classrooms, computer lab, multi-purpose room, auditorium and, most importantly, extensive meeting space for students.
“Gaige Hall stands as an important centerpiece as we modernize our campus and reimagine the future of higher education,” said President Sánchez. “Aligning with our strategic plan, every classroom has been transformed to facilitate active learning. Smaller, more intimate settings, movable classroom furniture, and collaborative work spaces are all part of the new economy, where students are engaged and fully involved in the teaching/learning process.”
The transformation of Gaige Hall was funded in part by a $50 million bond passed in 2012 for renovations and upgrades to Gaige Hall and Craig-Lee Hall, two of the college’s most vital but aging classroom buildings. Gaige Hall is the new home of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; the Departments of Anthropology, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology; and the Audiovisual Department and Audiovisual Help Center.
The $44 million, multi-phased, complete renovation of Gaige Hall features:
- Complete reorganization of all departments and classrooms to facilitate innovative teaching strategies and increase collaboration among students.
- Substantial amount of additional space for students to stay engaged between classes, discuss classwork, study together, and break into groups.
- Additional classrooms to help alleviate scheduling congestion.
- All classrooms sized for up to 32 students for a more intimate teaching/learning environment.
- Movable classroom furniture for greater flexibility and increased teamwork.
- Modernization of auditorium with significantly improved acoustics, excellent sound system, and optimized sight lines.
- New, prominent multi-purpose function space added overlooking the campus quad, featuring a glass curtainwall that allows natural light to stream in.
- Significant system upgrades that bring building up to current fire safety and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance standards.
Supporting the college’s designation as a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, energy efficient upgrades include more natural light, new HVAC systems, and LED lighting throughout.
“Gaige Hall truly represents the vision of our college’s third president, William Gaige,” said President Sánchez. “This state-of-the-art facility offers spaces intentionally designed to foster participation and engagement among students in an active learning classroom, continuing our tradition of academic excellence.”
The project team for the renovation of Gaige Hall included H.V. Collins Company, LLB Architects, and Keough Construction Management.