University of Rhode Island in US opens new pharmacy building

5 September 2012 (Last Updated September 5th, 2012 18:30)

The University of Rhode Island (URI) in the US has opened a new $75m building for the College of Pharmacy to expand its graduate and undergraduate programmes.

URI pharmacy building cutting ceremony

The University of Rhode Island (URI) in the US has opened a new $75m building for the College of Pharmacy to expand its graduate and undergraduate programmes.

The five-storey, 144,000ft² building was constructed in the Kingston campus’ new North Science District.

The pharmacy building features classrooms and laboratories, indoor work spaces, energy-efficient lighting systems, technologically advanced mechanical systems and a site footprint with a low impact on the natural environment.

Designed by the architectural firm Payette, the building is expected to achieve a Gold rating in the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.

URI director of campus planning and design Thomas Frisbie-Fulton said that the new College of Pharmacy building, through its technology and design, will use 21.6% less energy than a traditional building of the same size.

"We expect to save nearly $160,000 a year in utility costs," Frisbie-Fulton said.

"The new pharmacy building will be a sustainability model for science buildings at other universities."

The new building will also feature a medicinal garden and 7,000ft² current Good Manufacturing Process (cGMP) facility built at a cost of $6m that will open later this year.

URI vice president for administration Robert Weygand said that the opening of the new pharmacy building is an important step in the development of the North Science District.

"It will physically and socially connect the faculty and students in pharmacy, nursing, chemistry, and biotechnology and life sciences to increase opportunities for collaboration, strengthen multi-disciplinary research and expand relationships with corporate partners and other institutions," Weygand said.

The building was funded through $65m in bonds and $10m in private donations and university money.

The new facility will accommodate 820 students, a 50% increase from 2006 when the bond was approved.

The new building will replace the 66,000ft² Fogarty Hall, which was opened in 1964 and capable of accommodating 235 students.

Suffolk Construction has served as the contractor for the project.


Image: The 144,000ft² pharmacy building will house 820 students and is constructed in the Kingston campus’ new North Science District. Photo: Nora Lewis.