Other Buildings

The President’s House (1964)

At the end of the dedication year for its new campus,  Governor Del Sesto signed into law a bill authorizing the expansion of the size  and  scope  of  RICE  and renaming  it  as  Rhode Island College. On March 17, 1959 the Board of Trustees of State Colleges announced that a house on Gardner Avenue, adjacent to the College, would be leased for the use of President Gaige. This marked  the first time that the College  provided  an  official residence for its leader.  It was promised that “in due time” a house would be built on campus.

President & Mrs. Gaige were the first occupants of the President's House (photo: RIC Archives)

President & Mrs. Gaige were the first occupants of the President’s House (photo: RIC Archives)

In 1964, planning for the President’s House began.  Edward W. Burnam, was hired as the contractor for the project, and Lamborghini and Pipka designed a plan modeled on Burnam’s own home in Warwick. The President’s House, in the Colonial Revival style, faces College Road near the Fruit Hill entrance to the campus.  The symmetrically placed double door on the main story dominates the front facade.  Five shuttered win­dows run across the second story, and two matching windows flank the doorway on the ground level.

Previously, this spot had been the location of an early 19th century structure.  Later, it became the home of the artist Hugo Breul who, among his other achievements, painted the portraits of seven of the state’s governors.  After the College acquired the land, this deteriorated building was used by firefighters for a practice drill, and the President’s House was built on the site.  The first President to live in the House was William C. Gaige.[1]

The Physical Plant (1975)

The Physical  Plant complex was constructed in 1975 and serves as the operations center for the college planner, custodial and maintenance services, signage coordinator,  and managers for campus building projects.  Constructed of prefabricated steel, the Physical Plant is a warehouse-style sparse utilitarian building.  The building has remained unal­tered since its construction .[2]

The Physical Plant complex  (photo: Liz Warburton)

The Physical Plant complex (photo: Liz Warburton)

Cooperative Preschool (late 1970s)

Described by some as a “shed behind Whipple Hall,”[3] the Cooperative Preschool has provided Rhode Island College employees and faculty with preschool services since the late 1970s. Constructed with the same steel siding as the main Physical Plant, the struc­ture is of the same era and resembles the Physical Plant on a smaller scale.

The Cooperative Preschool (photo: Liz Warburton)

The Cooperative Preschool (photo: Liz Warburton)

Student-Athlete Success Center (1998)

The Student-Athlete Success Center building, located behind the Murray Center, was the former home of the Sherlock Center.  In January 2011. It was dedicated as a space to encourage the success of student athletes.  The new Student-Athlete Success Center replaced the Marocco Family Student-Athlete Center that opened in 1998.[4] The build­ing, similar in design to the Murray Center, is located adjacent to the college baseball field.

The Student Athlete Success Center.  (photo: Liz Warburton)

The Student Athlete Success Center. (photo: Liz Warburton)

Entrance Markers (1964; 1987)

Rhode Island College has two primary entrances, one from Mount Pleasant Avenue and the other from Fruit Hill Avenue. The original wooden sign (see cover photo) at the Mount Pleasant entrance was a gift from the Class of 1945. In 1964 it was replaced with a concrete marker constructed as a gift from that year’s graduates, with additional sup­port from the Alumni Fund and memorial gifts fi·om the classes of 1912 and 1937. [5]

With gifts from the Alumni Board and the classes of 1961, 1984, 1985, and 1986, a second marker was added to the entrance on Fruit Hill Avenue and was dedicated in the summer of 1 987.  Constructed by the local Bonner Monument Company, this granite entrance marker is now one of the symbols of the college.[6]

RIC's grand entrance marker from the Fruit Hill Avenue entrance (photo:www.ric.edu)

RIC’s grand entrance marker from the Fruit Hill Avenue entrance (photo:www.ric.edu)


  1. "The President's House," Buildings and Named Places Binder.
  2. Maintenance Building." Vice President for Business Affairs materials, unprocessed. Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections.
  3. Lori Marcotte. 'RIC's Co-op Preschool gets four-star rating." What's News @ RIC. http://www..ric.edu/whatsnews/details.php?News 10=708 (accessed June 29, 2012).
  4. Student-Athlete Development Program. "Program Overview." htto://http://www.goanchormen.com/sa development.html (accessed June 29, 2012).
  5. "Alumni News" October 1964. Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections.
  6. "Bonner Monument Co." College Advancement and Support materials, unprocessed. Rhode Island College. James P. Adams Library, Special Collections.

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