Distributed June 29, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Master Plan 2000

Brown University officials present master plan update to community

In conjunction with a five-year review of current operations and growth, University and city officials hosted a community meeting to review Brown’s proposed Master Plan 2000 with area residents.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — University officials today hosted a community meeting in the Salomon Center for Teaching to review proposed updates to the Brown University master plan with residents of the East Side neighborhood.

As part of its facilities planning, Brown submits a comprehensive plan to city officials every five years detailing current operations and identifying areas of potential growth. University representatives met this spring with the staff of the Providence Department of Planning and Development to discuss the Master Plan 2000 proposal. After evaluating community feedback from this evening’s meeting, the University will present its master plan to the City Plan Commission in the upcoming months.

The projects proposed in this master plan update include a new Life Sciences Building, the relocation of the Meeting Street branch of the U.S. Post Office, Brown’s Facilities Management Building and, possibly, the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, and the demolition of the Marvel Gymnasium.

The Life Sciences Building will allow for the enhancement of teaching and research capabilities and for contiguous space for three departments – Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences; Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry; and Neuroscience. It will encompass 180,000 gross square feet. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2001 and be completed in late 2003.

The project will affect two or possibly three existing buildings. The U.S. Post Office, located in a Brown building at 201 Meeting St., will be relocated in early 2001 to 302 Thayer St., pending approval by the U.S. Postal Service. The Facilities Management Office at 60 Olive St. will be relocated to Lloyd Avenue (on the site of the tennis courts adjacent to the central heating plant), with construction throughout 2001. One of the options for the design of the Life Sciences Building would require use of the space now occupied by the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. If necessary, the center will be relocated in the summer of 2001 to a location that is yet to be determined.

Parking and traffic issues are being reviewed in conjunction with these changes. Since the Life Sciences Building displaces two University parking lots, expansions are planned for the Bowen and Brook Street lot.

At the request of neighborhood residents, the status of the Marvel Gymnasium has also been reviewed. Brown has identified field space as a priority use for the Marvel site, and demolition is planned within the next two years; interim improvements are underway.

Although Brown invites and strives to incorporate community feedback in all of its major facilities projects, the master planning process presents an opportunity to consider wider planning and development issues of mutual interest to the community and the University. In the last five years, 30 University buildings have been renovated and numerous landscaping and walkway projects have been completed.

Among the projects undertaken and/or completed since 1995 are the Watson Institute for International Studies; a new English Department facility; a two-story addition to the Barus and Holley/Prince Engineering complex; the renovation of the former Sayles Gymnasium as new classrooms (Smith-Buonanno Hall); and MacMillan Hall, the new laboratory building for chemistry, geological sciences and environmental sciences. In addition, 13 buildings have been sold to the community and added to the city’s tax rolls. Brown currently owns 232 buildings.

Participating in this evening’s panel presentation were Sam Shamoon, deputy director of planning and development, City of Providence; John Noonan, acting associate vice president of facilities management, Brown University; Marisa Quinn, director of federal relations, Brown University; Jim Rooney, director of community and government relations, Brown University; Robert Vaughn, director of planning, Brown University; and Alan Chimacoff, architect and principal, The Hillier Group.