PBO 02289 00 N3 medium 1

Fine Arts Center Additions and Renovations

Location Kingston, RI

Client University of Rhode Island (URI)

Services Owner's Representative, Program Management

Project Value $76 million

Hill provided owner’s program management (OPM) services in support of additions and renovations to the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Fine Arts Center. Located on the Kingston Campus, this landmark building serves URI, the local community, and the state and is home to multiple departments, the theater program, and 70 faculty and staff members. Approximately 8,500 URI students register for a fine arts course and more than 50,000 people use and visit the Fine Arts Center annually.

The project team completed Phase 1 of the $76 million project in 2021. This phase consisted of design and construction of a new exterior façade, roofing, and HVAC for segments of the building. Phase 2, which consists of a new addition and comprehensive renovation of most of the building, is currently in design. In this phase, the team will remove half of the existing building, making way for an 82,000 SF new academic building that will run east to west on the site of the existing building’s footprint. The first and second floors will include a variety of learning and multidisciplinary spaces dedicated to the fine arts, and the third floor will house the Art Department. The Fine Arts Center is expected to fully reopen for the school’s spring semester of 2025.

Hill provided comprehensive design management and coordination for the project, including oversight of numerous specialty subconsultants. Specifically, Hill provided project team leadership, management and technical expertise, and coordination of tasks. The team focused on managing design, maintaining schedule and budget, and minimizing disruptions to any classes or events hosted in the Center.

After conducting estimates for Phase 1, Hill brought in a second estimating firm that confirmed Hill’s suspicion that the project was trending over budget. During bidding, Hill reviewed and provided recommendations on several proposed alternatives. This allowed URI to purchase the project within the established budget, with some scope reduction. Hill also helped save money and promote quality by completing a thorough pre-construction site evaluation, making certain all parties were aware of existing conditions on site. During phase 1, Hill leveraged a thorough communication plan and robust scheduling to promote a smooth transition from the academic year to summer construction. This included finding swing space for summer activities normally held in the Center.

During Phase 2, Hill continues to monitor the budget and schedule and help URI keep the Fine Arts Center open. The Hill team will review and audit the contractor’s safety plan, help schedule invasive or noisy work around the school calendar, and monitor to make certain dust and vibration levels do not exceed established thresholds. Upon completion of construction, Hill will also support commissioning, punch-list, FF&E coordination, move-in, and close-out.