Bryant University building new Convocation Center and Arena
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE)- Bryant University has announced plans to break ground on a landmark Convocation Center and Arena for the Bulldog Athletics Department, including a new dining hall, in 2023.
The Convocation Center and Arena is designed by Sasaki Associates and will be adjacent to Bryant’s Bulldog Strength and Conditioning Center.
According to Chair of Bryant’s Board of Trustees David M. Beirne ’85, “Vision 2030 is designed to catapult Bryant University to the next level. The investment in academic facilities will include a newly established Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, a state-of-the-art dining facility, major investments in residential life, and our world class Arena/Convocation Center will only further drive our nationally recognized top 1% ROI education and further prepare our students to be Real World Ready.”
In announcing the project, Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph. D., notes, “Vision 2030 investments will position Bryant University as a leader in high impact and high return 21st century education, student experience, and professional and personal development for success. This is exemplified by the University’s top 1% return on investment and participation in 2022 Division I NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Bryant is one of the very few universities in the country to achieve national recognition in both brackets.”
Incoming Provost Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D., adds that, “Vision 2030 positions Bryant to extend its exceptional return on education investment to new academic programs, disciplines and a growing pool of highly talented and well qualified students.”
According to the University, the new Convocation Center will,
- Establish a premier home for Bryant Basketball and Volleyball sports, including competition court, locker room and support spaces
- Provide a location for Convocation and Commencement ceremonies that can accommodate the entire student body of 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students
- Offer a venue for student life events including an innovative black box theatre, soundproof concert hall and setting for performing arts including theatre and dance
- Provide a multi-purpose facility to support academic, conference, and special event programming
- Create a welcoming venue for campus visitors and prospective students
- Serve as an emergency disaster response shelter and place of refuge in times of crisis.
The building will accommodate up to 4,400 participants with a combination of 3,400 fixed seats and up to 1,000 seats added on the event floor with a large stage. Two-tiered seating with retractable seats with a lower area to seat up to 2,500 and an upper level that can accommodate an additional 900 seats. A new loading dock with access to the arena floor. Updated state of the art technology for rigging, lighting, and sound systems.
Funding for this project will be done through philanthropy work.