The University has selected a location and drafted plans for its integrated life sciences building — and selected architects for a new indoor athletics facility, according to a June 1 press release.
The announcement comes after the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, approved the steps in their late May meeting.
Both facilities will require approval from the city. The University is set to submit a new Institutional Master Plan, which is prepared “at five-year intervals,” to the city of Providence in August. That plan will offer further details on the projects, informed by meetings with “residents, neighborhood associations, community groups and elected officials” through June.
The most recent full Institutional Master Plan plan came in 2017, though it was subsequently updated.
Integrated life sciences building
The University approved the selection of architects for a new integrated life sciences building last May, The Herald previously reported.
Located on Richmond Street in the Jewelry District, the new building will stand across from Warren Alpert Medical School and next to the Laboratories for Molecular Medicine. The building is planned to be a “300,000-square-foot, seven-story research facility,” according to the press release. The plans include the addition of green spaces, as well as publicly accessible event rooms, outdoor seating and a café on the ground floor.
For researchers, the building will include “open labs, offices and collaborative spaces,” according to the release. The new facility will replace buildings at 233 and 261 Richmond Street, both of which are University-owned.
Sharon Steele, president of the Jewelry District Neighborhood Association, said she was excited about the “beautiful outside green spaces that are going to be used and available to the public at all times.”
Details about the new building will be shared in a series of public meetings this month. These meetings “allow an opportunity to share plans in advance, answer questions, address concerns and consider feedback from members of the local community,” wrote University spokesperson Brian Clark in an email to The Herald.
“Both the (Integrated Life Sciences Building) and athletics projects are in the very early stages of planning at this point, and input from the community will play one role in contributing to the final plans developed for each project,” he added.
The building comes amidst a larger effort to bolster Brown’s research output. Life sciences research is often space-intensive, and this new project will support growth in this field, Clark wrote.
“Our goal is to advance the positive impact that our researchers have even further,” he wrote. “This new facility will enable cutting-edge science that will ultimately lead to patient therapies and interventions.”
To date, the University has invested $341 million in Jewelry District projects. These projects are all “informed by Brown’s long-term approach to campus master planning, which includes opportunities for meaningful community engagement,” according to Clark.
A “target timeline” has not been announced, but the University “estimates construction completion in … three to four years,” according to the release.
Indoor athletics facility
The Corporation also approved a motion to select an architect for a new donor-funded indoor practice facility to replace Meister-Kavan Field, located behind the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center. The selection process is expected to take three months, according to the University press release.
The new 76,000-square-foot facility will offer indoor training space for field sports during the winter, with a “52,000-square-foot turf playing surface, an entry lobby, restrooms and space for equipment storage,” according to the press release.
“Given the seasonal weather we experience in the northeast, we are thrilled that this new indoor facility would offer year-round training and fitness opportunities for our varsity student-athletes, as well as our club and recreational athletes,” wrote Grace Calhoun, vice president for athletics and recreation, in an email to the Herald.
For non-varsity athletes, the new facility will also support a variety of activities, “including group fitness classes, recreational pick-up games, club team events, and intramural leagues,” added Calhoun. Intramural sports participation could double as a result of the new building, according to the press release.
Construction, expected to last around 18 months, is projected to begin in summer 2024.
Ryan Doherty is a senior staff writer covering faculty, higher education and science & research. He is a sophomore concentrating chemistry and history who likes to partially complete crosswords in free time.