Metro

Dynamo opening delayed two months

Nursing education center shared by URI, RIC to become operational in November 2016

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 16, 2015

Construction on the South Street Power Station, formerly known as Dynamo House, is expected to reach completion two months later than originally anticipated and be ready for use in November 2016.

The nursing education center to be housed in the former South Street Power station will open in November 2016, about two months after the original date, the University of Rhode Island announced last week.

The power station, popularly known as Dynamo House, has stood vacant in the Jewelry District since it was decommissioned in 1995. The University announced plans in July 2013 to renovate the property in conjunction with URI and Rhode Island College.

Officials from the three schools, the city and the state ceremonially broke ground on the project last December. The site will include a nursing education facility shared between URI and RIC as well as administrative offices and graduate housing for the University.

The University, which signed a separate lease than RIC and URI, has always planned to move into the site in January or February 2017, said Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president for planning and policy. The deviation from RIC and URI’s previously announced occupancy dates does not affect the University’s current plans of moving in, Carey said.

The idea that the November date represents a delay in the process is somewhat misleading, Carey said, noting that the developers had long made the state aware that a November completion date was a possibility. The change will likely have a greater impact on the curriculum and planning of URI and RIC than on the University, he added.

President Christina Paxson P’19 affirmed her support of the development and outlined its potential impact in a Providence Journal guest column Tuesday.

Commonwealth Ventures Properties, which is overseeing the renovation, initially indicated two potential dates for RIC and URI to begin occupying the site. The later of the two dates falls in November, the Providence Journal reported. Though CV Properties intended to have the site ready for the start of the Fall 2016 semester, URI’s Assistant Vice President for Business Services Vernon Wyman told the Providence Journal that the earlier date is no longer possible.

Construction is scheduled to begin next month, and the development is “entirely consistent” with the timeline that CV Properties President Richard Galvin ’79 established in the two leases, Carey said. “These things take time, but it’s absolutely moving forward.”