New 500-bed dorm at URI features full kitchens, living rooms

South County

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ It’s the new thing in university dorms: roomy full-size beds, full kitchens for students learning to cook on their own and of course, air conditioning.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) celebrated the opening of the brand new, 500-bed, 203,000-square-foot Brookside Hall dormitory Monday morning.

The $94 million residence hall has 122 student apartment suites ─ the majority of which are four- and six-bedroom units.

The new hall is geared toward juniors and seniors who want to live on campus, said the URI spokesperson Dave Lavallee. Students are already housed in the building and are giving it rave reviews, he said.

“We know that students who are engaged in campus activities feel connected to each other,” URI President David Dooley said. “That leads to better performance in academics, social circles and professional life.”

Each unit’s kitchen is equipped with a refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, dishwasher and sink, which reflects the evolution of university dormitories nationwide.

Part of the community-building mission puts the building’s front door right next to local bike path connections, letting students ride to nearby Wakefield, Peace Dale and Narragansett.

Brookside is the first new residence hall URI has opened since October 2012, when Hillside Hall was unveiled.

The hall also features a cafe, Brookside Bistro, which is open to the entire community.

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