2007 -- S 1111 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/06/07



Joint Resolution




     Introduced By: Senator V. Susan Sosnowski

     Date Introduced: June 14, 2007




It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. This Joint Resolution is submitted pursuant to the requirements of Rhode

Island general law sections 35-18-1, et seq. and 37-6-2.

     WHEREAS, The University of Rhode Island (the University) has academic programs in

Physical Therapy, Communicative Disorders, and Kinesiology with teaching, research, and

outreach that benefit Rhode Island adults and children with injuries and disabilities; and

     WHEREAS, The Independence Square Foundation (the Foundation) is a non-profit

corporation that develops and manages community center buildings, leasing space at affordable

rates to not-for-profit operations, with a historical emphasis on operations supporting individuals

with disabilities; and

     WHEREAS, The Foundation promotes and fosters collaborative relationships between its

non-profit tenants in the interest of enhancing the range and quality of services offered to these

special populations, recognized at the National level as a unique model to be emulated: and

     WHEREAS, In 1991, the University and the Board of Governors for Higher Education

(the Board), and the State Properties Committee (the Properties Committee) approved a lease of

land (Ground Lease), for ten years, with ten years renewable, for a parcel of land at 25 West

Independence Way on the Kingston Campus of the University in Kingston, Rhode Island to the

Foundation, enabling Independence Square to build a 40,000 square foot community center

building for not-for-profit tenants; and

     WHEREAS, Per the Ground Lease Agreement, the Foundation is required to make

payments of $1 per year, and at the end of the term or further extension of the Ground Lease, the

University and the Board obtain title to the building and associated improvements for the

payment of $1; and

     WHEREAS, The Board and the Properties Committee, at the same time and in 2002,

approved space leases (Lease) for the University’s Physical Therapy Program and

Communicative Disorders Speech and Hearing clinic respectively within the existing building at

25 West Independence Way and those Programs, associated students and faculty, and clinical

clients have benefited from the quality, accessible, and well maintained facilities for the duration

of those Leases; and

     WHEREAS, In 2004, the foundation proposed a plan for the development of an addition

to the existing building within the boundaries of the existing parcel defined in the Ground Lease,

and began seeking Federal and private sources of funding support to defray the capital costs for

such a project, and succeeded in securing Federal support totaling $1,200,000 to date as efforts

continue; and

     WHEREAS, The project, as now conceived, is a two-story addition containing 27,600

square feet that would house the following tenants:

     The South Kingstown Transition Academy (formerly the South Kingstown Farm

School) a Town operated school providing specialized educational support for

children with autism, currently housed in a temporary building;

     The Trudeau Center’s Early Intervention Program, serving children with

developmental disabilities, a program that would benefit from the on-campus

location and adjacency of clinical services;

     First Step Child Care Center, a not-for-profit child care facility operating in the

existing building and expanding programs into the addition to serve the

University and surrounding community; and

     The University’s Kinesiology Program, providing undergraduate and graduate

degree programs in physical education, teacher education, exercise science, and

health fitness with a strong commitment to laboratory and experimental learning,

being relocated out of the current Athletic Complex to facilities designed to their

requirements, complementing the University Physical Therapy and Speech and

Hearing Clinic presence in the original Independence Square Building in

Kingston; and

     WHEREAS, The budget for the design and construction of the Project is $8,200,000, a

minimum of $1,200,000 is supported by Federal sources, and the Foundation has received

tentative authorization to secure bank financing for up to $7,000,000; and

     WHEREAS, The University, the Board, and the Properties Committee have approved a

25 year extension to the existing Ground Lease, that will be effective upon the date of the receipt

of a certificate of occupancy for the Project, the 25-year term extension of the Ground Lease

being a requirement of the Federal Government for the commitment of Federal sources to the

project; and

     WHEREAS, The University, the Board, and the Properties Committee have approved a

Lease (the Lease Agreement) with a term 25 years, for 16,368 square feet of space in the Project

for the University’s Kinesiology Program, with that Lease Agreement and associated obligations

beginning in Fiscal Year 2008-2009; and

     WHEREAS, The Lease Agreement requires the University to pay a Base Rent for the

University’s proportionate share of building operating expenses, including heating, cooling,

lighting, and basic electrical service, such Base Rent in the first year being $259,024, calculated

on an annualized basis, but adjusted downward in accordance with the anticipated shorter first

year’s period of occupancy, this Base Rent being subject to annual increases in operating

expenses in future years; and

     WHEREAS, Under the Lease Agreement, the University will be required to pay

additional rent for the University’s proportionate share of financed Estimated Build-out costs not

to exceed $296,400 per year on a fixed annualized basis for the twenty-five year term of the

Lease Agreement, unless reduced by the successful receipt by the Foundation of additional

Federal and/or private funding for the Project, such Additional Rent payments to be supported by

University general revenues; and

     WHEREAS, Approval is required at this time in order to ensure that all tenants are

committed to their respective lease agreements so that construction of the Project can proceed and

achieve readiness for occupancy in FY 2008-2009; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence

Plantations hereby recognizes that the annual payments of Additional Rent of the University’s

Estimated Build-Out Costs will not exceed $296,400 in any year under the term of the Lease

Agreement, and will not exceed $7,410,000 over the full 25 year term of the Lease Agreement;

and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this General Assembly hereby supports the Foundation’s Project as a

favorable investment on the University’s Kingston Campus, that will ultimately become an asset

of the University and the State, serving as an important academic program and critical operation

for children with special needs, while further building upon a successful University, Foundation,

and community partnership; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this General Assembly hereby approves this Lease Agreement and its

associated Additional Rent for Build-out Costs; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Governor Donald Carcieri, and the Rhode

Island Board of Governors for Higher Education.

     SECTION 2. This Joint Resolution shall take effect upon passage.



LC03362/SUB A