PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence College today announced that the College has awarded the construction management contract for Phase I of the Ruane Friar Development Center (RFDC) to Dimeo Construction of Providence. The RFDC will be a new, multi-purpose facility attached to Alumni Hall, whose first phase will include a basketball practice facility and space for associated Department of Athletics activities. Dimeo Construction has completed several projects for Providence College, most recently the Arthur F. & Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies (2017) and the Ruane Center for the Humanities (2013), the College’s two newest academic buildings.
“We were fortunate to be able to choose from three extremely competitive bids from three tremendous firms,” said Providence College Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer John Sweeney. “One of the factors that pushed Dimeo’s bid to the top was that it would allow us to continue working with the same team that has done great work in building both the Ryan Center for Business Studies and the Ruane Center for the Humanities, both hugely successful projects that were delivered on time and on budget.”
The lead gift for the RFDC came via the generosity of former PC Board of Trustees Chair Michael A. Ruane ’71 & ’13Hon. and his wife Elizabeth. Combined with a commitment to create the Michael A. Ruane Distinguished Chair in Economics, the Ruane’s gift is the largest the College has received from a living alumnus. It represents a leadership investment in the College and its future, from a family renowned for its commitment to PC.
“The Ruane Friar Development Center will be one of the top athletic facilities in the nation when it is completed next year,” said Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll. “Ed Cooley and his staff have worked very hard to build our basketball program and develop our student-athletes. The coaches, student-athletes and the entire Providence College community deserve a first-class facility that they can use as they train and prepare. We are very appreciative of the great generosity of Mike and Elizabeth Ruane, as well as that of all the supporters who have made this possible.”
“We are looking forward to the opening of the Ruane Friar Development Center,” said Providence College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley. “The construction of this facility will be important for our program as Providence College continues to show great progress and promise for our future.” “We are thrilled once again to take on another state-of-the-art project at Providence College, and look forward to working with all the stakeholders to deliver this wonderful basketball training facility,” said Bradford S. Dimeo, president of Dimeo Construction Company. "We are sure this complex will help recruit and train young adults to continue to improve upon PC’s great athletic tradition in the years ahead.”
The new two-story facility will enhance significantly Friar athletics, student services, and College community life. A portion of the Ruane’s gift also will support program enhancements to help Friar athletic teams compete for championships and strive for excellence.
After graduating from PC in 1971 with an economics degree, Michael Ruane earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founding owner, chair, and managing partner of Boston-based TA Realty, one of the nation’s largest real estate investment advisory firms. In addition to two faculty chairs – one in economics and one in business – the Ruanes have provided unprecedented support to PC over the years. The Ruane Center for the Humanities, dedicated in 2013, is named for them, as is the Ruane Atrium at Concannon Fitness Center.
In addition to a 56,000 square foot, two-court basketball practice facility, RFDC Phase I includes the construction of an atrium spanning Alumni Hall and Slavin Center, an athletic training center, offices, a new Friar Athletics Hall of Fame, and a dining room, along with other infrastructure improvements. The design promotes and maximizes the flexible use of the large team spaces for other Providence teams or alumni events as needed. It will set the stage for Phase II, to feature a new Center for Career Education and Professional Development and an expanded, renovated ’64 Hall (the College’s largest function facility, located in Slavin Center).
The project will expand the venerable Alumni Hall to the west, with glass facades that complement the adjacent exteriors of Slavin Center and Concannon Fitness Center. The atrium will create a welcoming, informal gathering space for the College community. A large entrance patio will become a useful multi-purpose outdoor location that will serve as an impressive backdrop to the Ray Treacy Track facility. Forecasted at nearly $30 million, Phase I construction is underway and will be completed in fall 2018. Phase II, estimated at $7.5 million, will be scheduled for a time that will maximize efficiency relative to work on Phase I, while minimizing any disruption to student life and activities.
Founded in 1917, Providence College is the only college or university in the United States administered by the Dominican Friars. The Catholic, liberal arts college has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 3,900 students and offers degrees in 50 academic majors. Since 1997, Providence College consistently has been ranked among the top five regional universities in the North according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” ###
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