Ribbon Cutting and Dedication of The Keefe Transportation Center
Text by Gita Brown, Staff Writer | RIC
The Keefe Transportation Center â a site for RICâs new bus shelter, zip cars, rental bicycles and, perhaps, a recharging station â was dedicated this month.
Like so many of the milestones that mark Nancy Carriuoloâs presidency at Rhode Island College, this center is the result of extraordinary collaborations.
In her opening remarks at the ribbon cutting, Carriuolo said, âThis is a story of two higher education institutions working collaboratively, of students and the administration working to make the college greener and safer, of local professionals providing their expertise and of donors stepping forward to provide all the necessary resources. Quite a team and quite an achievement.â
She recounted how two years ago students from RICâs Student Community Government requested
a bus shelter. âThey were led by a very able, very vocal student Aaron Buckley â12,â she said.
The students were concerned that commuters waiting for the RIPTA bus had no shelter from bad
weather. They argued that without a bus shelter, commuters might stop catching the bus. DecreasedÂ usage of public transportation meant more cars on campus.
One of the primary goals of Carriuoloâs presidency has been to create a greener campus. TheÂ herding of more cars into lots â and more carbon emissions â was not the green campus sheÂ envisioned.
âWe understood the need for a shelter,â Carriuolo said, âbut our problem was how to put up a shelterÂ with a very limited budget.â
She contacted an old friend, Richard Gouse, president of the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), to ask if his architectural students might take on the challenge of designing a bus shelter for RIC. Gouse was delighted.
The students were grouped into teams, and each team presented their designs before a RIC panel.
Once a final design was selected, Saccoccio & Associates, an architectural firm in Cranston, RI,
agreed to refine the specs pro bono.
âThey saved us a great deal of money,â Carriuolo said.
RIPTA also worked on the specs, making modifications.
And in June 2012 the Bailey Group began construction on the building. Funding came from private
donations made to the college and by a donation from the Class of 2011.
The most significant private contribution was made by John Smith, â63, â67 MA, a longtime supporter of RIC, a former trustee, a member of the board of RICâs Foundation and current vice chair of the Foundation.
In honor of his generosity, theÂ transportation center was named after his deceased mother Anna Veronica Keefe Smith â33, â67 MA.
John Smith â63, â67 MA Following the presidentâs remarks, Gouse, Smith and Travis Escobar, speaker of parliament for
RICâs Student Community Government, addressed the audience.
Gouse commended Carriuolo for being a catalyst for bringing people together. While Escobar saidÂ President Carriuolo and her administration really listen to student ideas.
Smith extolled the changing landscape at RIC under Carriuoloâs leadership â the newly renovated Recreation Center, construction of the Alex and Ani Art Center, the passage of Referendum 3 â the largest bond in the history of the college â which slates Craig-Lee Hall, Gaige Hall and the Fogarty Life Science building for renovations. RIC has many ribbon cuttings to look forward to and much to be proud of, said Smith.
âWe are on the move.â