2013 -- S 1050

Enacted 07/03/13










     Introduced By: Senator Daniel DaPonte

     Date Introduced: July 03, 2013



    WHEREAS, Rhode Island College (the College), the University of Rhode Island (the

University), and the Community College of Rhode Island provide high-quality, public nursing

education and research programs, which produce approximately 80% of the state's nursing

program graduates each year; and

     WHEREAS, The facilities housing the nursing programs at the College and the

University are aging, lack current technologies and smart classrooms, and are at their physical

enrollment capacities; and

     WHEREAS, Projected local and national shortages of nursing candidates for licensure

and nursing faculty are expected to adversely impact the delivery of health care in the coming

years; and

     WHEREAS, It is in the best interest of the State of Rhode Island to enable the University

and the College to educate students at all levels in the sciences and caring for complex health care

challenges in a low-risk environment, to provide critical continuing education in order to support

workforce development, and to produce more nursing graduates at the baccalaureate, masters, and

doctoral levels; and

     WHEREAS, It is in the best interest of the State of Rhode Island to pursue cost-effective

financing for its public nursing higher education facilities as outlined in the May 23, 2011,

feasibility study authorized by the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island in the fiscal

year 2012 budget which proposed the development of a single, shared, inter-institutional nursing

sciences and education facility to be located in Providence's Jewelry District; and

     WHEREAS, Location of a shared facility in Providence's Jewelry District will allow the

College and the University to maximize symmetries and current collaborations with Brown

University's Alpert Medical School (AMS), and the state's major hospitals and other health care

providers; and

     WHEREAS, A shared nursing education facility would be an investment by the citizens

of Rhode Island that will provide Rhode Island students, and particularly students from the urban

area in which the new nursing school will be located, with programs to encourage the pursuit of

careers in nursing, increased opportunities to attend the College and the University to pursue

nursing education, and financial and other assistance to facilitate nursing program completion;


     WHEREAS, Brown University and the AMS have proposed to enhance the connection of

College Hill to the Jewelry District and create a campus environment on and around the Alpert

Medical School; and

     WHEREAS, Brown University and the AMS are eager to promote academic

collaborations with the University, the College, and other institutions of higher education; and

     WHEREAS, Brown University has proposed a collaboration with Commonwealth

Ventures, LLC (the Developer) to renovate and develop the South Street Power Station at Davol

Square into a shared facility sufficient to house Brown's administrative programming, and the

nursing programs for the University and the College; and

     WHEREAS, In order to address the projected shortage of new nurses, to attract more

nursing faculty, to provide state-of-the-art technology for teaching and research capabilities, and

to ensure cost-effective development of higher education facilities, the Board of Education and

the Department of Administration intend to work together to enter into a partnership with Brown

University and Commonwealth Ventures, LLC, to locate a Nursing Education Center (“NEC”) to

be shared by the College and the University in the South Street Power Station; and

     WHEREAS, A major vehicle making the development of the abandoned and vacant

South Street Power Station possible is the State's historic preservation tax credit program

intended to support a previously planned use of the building and now potentially helping to

enable the building to serve, in part, a beneficial State purpose; and

     WHEREAS, The Developer has proposed that with the South Street Power Station leased

in its entirety by Brown and the NEC, the developer will privately develop at least one hundred

sixty five thousand (165,000) square feet of residential apartments suitable for rent by graduate,

medical, and upper-class advanced undergraduate student housing on the adjacent parcel; at least

ten thousand (10,000) square feet of retail space; a six hundred (600) car garage (to be financed

and developed by the City of Providence) on property leased by Brown University; and will

develop at least fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet of incubator lab space in an adjacent

facility; and

     WHEREAS, The Developer anticipates the development of the NEC project in its

entirety will launch a $206 million economic development project that will generate local

construction and other permanent jobs, and enhance a major gateway to Providence; and

     WHEREAS, After analysis, the annual lease costs for the NEC in the South Street Power

Station project represent the lowest cost alternative for this type of project, without the additional

long term burden of ownership; and

     WHEREAS, The Board of Education, the University, the College, and the Department of

Administration intend to negotiate the terms and conditions for the development and lease for the

NEC in the South Street Power Station with the Developer to protect the short and long-term

interests of the State, the College, and the University; and

     WHEREAS, A shared governance committee for operational purposes will be established

as outlined in the feasibility study, and will be comprised of appropriate and equal numbers of

individuals from the University and the College and chaired by a senior staff member of the

Board of Education, with a process whereby the appeal of decisions made by the governance

committee may be made by the University or College directly to the Board; and

     WHEREAS, Decisions regarding the NEC that involve and impact both the University

and College nursing programs shall not be made by either the University or College alone; now,

therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island hereby encourages and

supports the efforts of the Rhode Island Board of Education and the Department of

Administration to locate a nursing education center "(NEC)" at the South Street Power Station in

Providence; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That in the event that the State Properties Committee and/or the Board of

Education approves a lease with good, clear and marketable title to said property for the NEC, it

shall immediately forward the proposed lease to the Chair of the Finance Committee of the

Senate of the State of Rhode Island, for approval in accordance with subsection 37-6-2(d); and be

it further

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

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Governor, the Chair of the Board of

Education, the Director of the Department of Administration, the State Budget Officer, and the

Chairman of the State Properties Committee.