Dimeo Construction Company and Johnson & Wales University have begun site preparation for construction of a three-story, $40 million academic building in the Jewelry District downtown. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on April 22, 2015.

Construction is expected to be completed by July 2016 and is expected to be the first development on the former Interstate-195 lands in Providence, which were made available following the relocation of the highway.

The project will place a 71,000-square-foot building at the corner of Friendship and Chestnut streets, and will house the university’s School of Engineering and Design, and College of Arts and Sciences biology program.

The building will include classrooms, offices, assembly spaces, an outdoor courtyard and labs for programs such as robotics, drawing, game and network simulation, network engineering and sustainable architecture, according to a fact sheet distributed by the university.

The architect is Edward Rowse Architects of Providence and Architectural Resources Cambridge, of Massachusetts. Landscape design will be by Birchwood Design Group of Providence.

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