PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Since late 2021, heavy machinery and road detour signs have marked the signs of something exciting happening at the southern end of Brown’s campus on Brook Street between Charlesfield and Power streets: the site of a new residence hall designed to provide an innovative residential educational experience for third- and fourth-year undergraduate students.
On a sunny, breezy afternoon on Monday, July 11, construction crews hoisted the final steel beam — adorned with signatures and well-wishes of University leaders, construction workers and community members involved in the project’s planning and development — atop the structure. In the spirit of topping-off tradition, an American flag and small pine tree sat atop the beam as it moved into position.
“I love the tradition of the beam signing and topping-off, because it’s a time when we don’t just celebrate the fact of what this building is going to do, we celebrate the people who made this building possible,” said Brown President Christina H. Paxson.
At the ceremony, Paxson was joined by a slate of speakers that included donors, senior leadership and representatives from the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council as well as Building Futures, with which the University has long collaborated on capital improvements.
Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes, who was among the speakers, said that conversations surrounding the construction of new student housing began in earnest six years ago. Then a 2018 housing study identified the need for more on-campus options to alleviate the impact that the demand for off-campus rental units has upon local neighborhoods. With the project’s official launch in February 2020 and completion scheduled for the fall of 2023, Estes said he was excited to see that the building was on track to welcome students in just a few semesters.