Supporting the Construction of a New Academic Building

A major project to demolish, relocate, and reconstruct the intersection of Interstates 195 and 95 was completed in the spring of 2013. This effort opened up 19 developable acres in downtown Providence and reconnected the Jewelry District, College Hill, and Fox Point areas that the highway formerly divided. Johnson & Wales University sought to develop the first project and purchased a building site in 2012. Woodard & Curran has worked with the University on a number of endeavors, and Johnson & Wales turned to the firm again to provide civil and environmental engineering design, permitting, and construction oversight for the University’s new 70,000-square-foot academic building in the newly formed I-195 Redevelopment District.

The building site is a Brownfield regulated by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) under the Remediation Regulations. In accordance with the approved Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP), Woodard & Curran designed a passive sub-slab depressurization system that is capable of being converted into an active system to mitigate potential vapor intrusion risk from residual VOC contamination. We also designed the site drainage system and low impact development (LID) techniques for stormwater management implemented at the site, which included an underground infiltration system, a bioretention basin, and tree filters. These systems will significantly decrease the amount of stormwater entering the combined sewer system.

Woodard & Curran obtained permits for the project from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), and the City of Providence.

Construction is scheduled to be completed for the start of the 2016-17 academic year. The new facility is consistent with the I-195 Redevelopment District Master Plan and is targeting LEED certification. When complete, the building will serve as home to JWU’s School of Engineering & Design and the College of Arts & Science’s Biology program. 


Johnson & Wales University
Providence, RI


Senior Project Manager
Government & Institutional