The Mission

Execute a Public-Private Partnership delivery system to centrally convert the former Rhode Island Hospital Trust Building into an innovative living-learning center to accommodate 500 students. Housing features include a library and residence spaces designed to meet the Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) strategic goal of connecting faculty, students, academic facilities and programs in one, integrated environment.

The Solution

The location of the building—across the Providence River but only a few hundred feet from RISD’s College Hill campus—was an ideal location for a main library and student housing. As part of the plan, we completely renovated the existing 12-story, 300,000 SF building Hospital Trust Building, designating ten floors to be used as a modern living environment with student life activity spaces, a full scale café, and informal student gathering areas.

The project included integrating two condominiums, one of which we acquired and leased with a purchase option to RISD. It also involved a fee simple land acquisition, extinguishing a more than 90-year-old ground lease, and incorporating access and utility easements with adjacent, connected buildings. Begun in spring of 2004, the renovation was completed in August 2005.

The Details

By packaging a complex transaction into defined, guaranteed deliverables, we helped RISD expand their on-campus housing by one third—without sacrificing quality, schedule or cost.

“When Gilbane approached us with this deadline, they didn’t just drop the decision in our lap and say, “trust us.” They sat at a table with us to design and define a project that we could be comfortable with. Otherwise, we would never have been able to make such a major decision.”-Fran Gast – former Associate Vice President Facilities and Planning, RISD