Providence Campus : Ready to Row
New academic buildings. More defined green space to
connect and enhance the urban setting. A multi-storied
parking garage. The university has big plans for the
Downcity Campus, proof of its deep commitment to its
host city, Providence. But Providence, like so many
municipalities throughout the country, has been struggling
under a burden of debt and is turning to tax-exempt
institutions for relief.
Relief comes in many forms. You could see it on the smiling
face of Providence Mayor Angel Tavares, Esq. at a February
afternoon City Hall press conference when he announced
that after months of talks, an agreement had been reached
where Johnson & Wales University would make a payment
in lieu of taxes of potentially more than $11 million over
the next 10 years. The payment will be in addition to the
$6.8 million JWU pledged to provide the city over 20 years, when the city last faced a severe deficit in 2003.
The arrangement offers some financial relief for the strapped city.
“I am grateful to the university for being a strong
partner to the City of Providence,” said Taveras with
JWU Chancellor John Bowen ’77 by his side.
Bowen, in turn, pledged the university’s commitment to
Providence. “This is the Ocean State, and we are in this boat.
We are not going to be passengers, nor jump ship,” Bowen
said. “We want to put our hands on the oars and row. We’ve
got to believe in this city, and we do.”
Relief can also take the form of space. That morning,
before the City Hall press conference, the university
officially welcomed a Providence Police Substation to the
Providence Campus. Once located in the middle of
Weybosset Street, the substation now can be found right
next door to JWU Campus Safety & Security — the
university and city rowing together.
Image: right: Providence Mayor
Angel Taveras (holding
scissors) takes charge of the
Police Substation ribbon
cutting with Providence
Campus President Mim
Runey LP.D., right, and
Chancellor John Bowen
’77, left, along with city and
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