The University of Rhode Island opens a new center Wednesday for Gender and Sexuality. The campus has struggled in the past with incidents of aggression against gay students and faculty. Now, it is the first school to in the country to design and construct a center dedicated to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender programs.
The center will also provide programs for straight students to help them understand what their peers may be facing.
Graduating senior Jessica Brand says as a transgender woman, she welcomes the new resource.
Workers have completed the steel structure and concrete flooring for the new Center for Chemistry and Forensic Sciences at the University of Rhode Island.
URI says crews are now beginning to place bricks on the exterior of the five-story structure, slated for completion in spring of 2016.
The $68 million center was funded largely with a bond issue. When complete, it will provide 135,000 square feet of laboratories, classrooms and offices, nearly doubling the amount of space for chemistry research at URI.
The University of Rhode Island broke ground this morning on a center for the school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. The center is unique among college campuses.
URI says it’s the only school in the nation to design and build a center specifically for the LGBTQ community. State officials were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking, including Governor Lincoln Chafee, and state senator Frank Ferri, who championed Rhode Island’s push for legal same-sex marriages. Annie Russell is the center’s director.