Rhode Island College Officially Reopens Newly Renovated Horace Mann Hall

A group of state and educational leaders cuts a ceremonial ribbon outside the newly renovated Horace Mann Hall.
Rhode Island College Impact

The recently completed transformation is the first for the flagship building of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development since opening in 1971

Providence, RI – Rhode Island College President Dr. Jack R. Warner, alongside Gov. Dan Mckee, Postsecondary Education Chair David Caprio and elected officials, today cut the ribbon to mark the official reopening of Horace Mann Hall, the flagship building of the college’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD). A three-year, $25 million renovation of the building was recently completed, its first major transformation since opening in 1971.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era in teacher education at our state’s first and oldest institution of public higher education,” said Warner. “Rhode Island needs teachers who are trained in the most modern, cutting-edge classroom practices and we need a facility that meets those standards. The all-new Horace Mann Hall is that facility, the jewel of our nationally-recognized School of Education.”

The renovation was made possible with the 2018 approval by Rhode Island voters of a $70 million bond that also funded upgrades to the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Campus. Major improvements include a wing featuring six class- rooms and three seminar rooms; bright and spacious student common areas; a three- story addition for offices; new roof, elevator and windows; and electrical, plumbing and network technology upgrades. The building began hosting classes again in January at the start of the spring semester.

Departments housed within Horace Mann are Educational Studies, Elementary Education, Special Education and Counseling, Educational Leadership, and School Psychology. The redesign also emphasizes the creation of flexible common spaces where students can meet, study, work and collaborate.

“There’s something to be said about having a home for your particular discipline,” said FSEHD Dean Jeannine Dingus-Eason. “The community-oriented layout of the building can serve as a landing space for students. Research shows the importance of incidental learning, which is peer-to-peer learning that happens in the hallways after class.”

The renovation was the work of LLB Architects and H.V. Collins Construction.

“With these renovations, the new Horace Mann Hall will become the home to a 21st century education and will prepare our future educators for the classrooms of today and tomorrow,” said Governor McKee. “I want to thank all those who made today possible, especially the voters of Rhode Island who overwhelmingly approved the bond funding to develop this project.”

“The renovation of Horace Mann Hall is a vital investment in our education infrastructure at a critical time for Rhode Island Schools,” said Postsecondary Chair Caprio. “The students who will be educated here represent the next generation of teachers and the future of education in our state.”