RGB President Joseph Beretta Granted Honorary Degree at Johnson & Wales University

Joseph Beretta

RGB President Joseph Beretta was honored at the recent Johnson & Wales University graduation with an honorary degree.

Joseph has been associated with Johnson and Wales University and Chancellor Bowen for more than 30 years which has resulted in working relationship in which RGB has designed more than 30 projects.

As reported in the Providence Journal:

Bomes Theater Restoration Design

RGB is currently working in the design of the restoration of the Bomes Theater in Providence for Fernando Tavares.

As reported in Providence Business News:

PROVIDENCE – The Bomes Theatre is being taken over by Fernando J. Tavares, owner of Tavares LLC, a local general contractor, the city announced Thursday.

The theater, located at 1017 Broad St., was built in 1921 as a theater and portions of it later were converted to retail use, including as a furniture store and restaurant. The property has been vacant since 2004.

The city said that Tavares LLC will conduct a complete restoration of the building to a mixed-use development, including retail, office and event space.

“I’m thrilled to see this historic and important building coming back to life,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza in a statement. “When we’re working together, we can make great progress, and this is yet another example of that.”

 Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The property was acquired by the Providence Redevelopment Agency in 2004 as part of the Ward 9 Redevelopment Plan. The PRA will transfer the property to Tavares LLC in exchange for his investment of $2.2 million to restore the property.

Tavares LLC has worked on many high-profile projects in the area, including South Street Landing, the new Citizens Bank campus, the Twin River Casino Hotel and also has contracted with Providence and the state in the past. Tavares himself has worked as project manager of some of those developments as well.

“One of the great things about America is our love of a comeback,” stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. “The Bomes Theatre began as a movie house that served as an escape from the ravages of WWI and then later the Great Depression. Over the past 97 years, the theater has seen many lives, and I’m excited to see what this comeback will look like.”

No tax incentives have been applied for or granted at this time.

RGB’s Teresa Le Honored as ACE Mentor of the Year

ACE at Station Row 2-28-18 Teresa Le

RGB staff have volunteered as part of the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor Program for more than 10 years. RGB’s Teresa Le has been part of this program mentoring high school students for the past several years, and was honored for her dedication to the program as 2017-2018 Mentor of the Year for the ACE RI West Bay Group. Congratulations, Teresa!

State of Rhode Island Adds 3% Veteran Procurement Goal

As reported in Providence Business News:

A new law signed by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo last year requires 3 percent of all state contracts be awarded to businesses that are owned by military veterans. The bill, according to its text, aims to “assist” these types of businesses by “increasing opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses to participate in state agency contracts and subcontracts.”

… “it’s a major step in the right direction” said [RGB Managing Principal] David DeQuattro.

The new State statute is under RILIN 37-14.3. The text of the statute is available here: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE37/37-14.3/INDEX.HTM


Hyatt Place at T.F. Green Airport Construction to Complete in May

As reported by the Warwick Beacon:

While the new Hyatt Place hotel on Jefferson Boulevard is about three months from opening, two of its 125 rooms are completed. The beds are made. The furniture is in position. The heat and air conditioning work and the picture of Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport make it uniquely Rhode Island.

“This one is very tight,” Jaime Senra says of the timeline for the $23 million project. Senra is the superintendent of the job and, during his 20-year career with Ahlborg Construction, has supervised scores of projects, many of them nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The key to a project of this size, he said, are good drawings and good subcontractors. That appeared to be the case on a tour Thursday. About 70 workers were on site. Crews – whether installing floor tiles, wiring electrical panels, fitting wallboard into place or working on the exterior of the six-story building – moved purposely.

The Hyatt, which when completed will give Warwick 17 hotels with a total of 2,400 rooms, is the first piece in a larger plan that Michael D’Ambra sees transforming the former eight-acre site of his construction company and asphalt plant into an office complex of about 500,000 square feet. It’s a dream he has been working on for years, gaining the zoning approvals and hinged to a vision of a vibrant commercial center built around the airport, train station and nearby proximity to Route 95. What he has planned is a critical element to Warwick City Centre.

Under financing agreements announced at the time of the groundbreaking in April, D’Ambra will receive up to $3.5 million under the statewide tax-increment financing program, approximately $1.2 million in Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits and more than $300,000 in a sales tax exemption on construction materials. Additionally, D’Ambra received approvals from the city for a tax stabilization agreement (TSA), which will freeze value of the property for taxation purposes at the pre-construction assessment for five years. HarborOne Bank is providing the financing.

D’Ambra said Thursday he’s been focused on completing the hotel and offered no news on further development of the site.

“My hands have been full getting this done on time,” he said.

The hotel will be connected to the InterLink with direct access to the Sundlun Terminal at Green Airport via a covered walkway. The hotel will offer five extended stay suites with bedroom, kitchen and living room. It has an indoor swimming pool, exercise room and multi-function rooms. There is also a lounge with a bar off the lobby.

D’Ambra projects a May opening for the new Hyatt.

That’s Senra’s goal. From his perspective it’s coming together quickly, and that’s a dream that will come true.

RGB continues RIDE school work in Jamestown

As reported by the Jamestown Press:

Town seeks $6.7M for school repairs

Voters would weigh in on $5.9M bond in November

The town councilors gave their blessing Monday night for the school department to forward a $6.71 million application to the state for infrastructure repairs at the schools in the next five years.

The application, which includes a bond referendum for $5.87 million on November’s ballot, now heads to the state Department of Education for approval. Even if the plan were endorsed at the next level, however, the town could abandon the proposal if taxpayers weren’t supportive.

“We could withdraw the application if we thought the bond wouldn’t get passed,” Town Administrator Andy Nota said.

The plan, which was mulled by a joint working group of town and school officials, was drafted by Robinson Green Beretta Architects. It is separate from the district’s operating budget that is passed annually at the financial town meeting.

This plan stems from the statewide assessment released in November by Jacobs Engineering that estimated $16.3 million in improvements to get Melrose and Lawn schools into ideal shape. That figure, however, only included about $60,000 in critical repairs to keep the doors open or for them to be deemed “clean, dry and safe.” The assessors said the buildings were in “overall very good condition.”

This application is necessary to receive reimbursement from the state. According to the district’s maintenance director, Peter Anderson, the minimum is 35 percent reimbursement for projects approved by the state. That number could increase to 45 percent because of certain incentives. Because the plan addresses a few of these enticements, including renewable energy, remediation of toxic materials and the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act, Nota is confident the town will receive at least 39 percent reimbursement.

While the number is daunting, more than half of that $6.71 million is earmarked for roof improvements. To repair the roofs, which have surpassed their 25- year warranties, it would cost $2.45 million. That number inflates to $3.4 million, however, because of proposed solar panels.

According to Nota, the schools use a combined 400,000 kilowatts per hour of electricity annually. The two arrays, however, would generate close to a half-megawatt each year, which is 500,000 kilowatts. The remaining energy would be added to the power grid. The town, which uses approximately 2 million megawatts annually, could then use that energy to subsidize other municipal buildings.

“Why wouldn’t we want to use the excess to pay down our bill?” Nota asked rhetorically.

At current electricity rates, Nota said, the district pays $80,000 annually for its electricity. That means the solar panels would be paid for within seven years, assuming the town is reimbursed for the project by the state.

“This process is not in vain,” Anderson said. “It will be fruitful in the end.”

The remaining $3.3 million will be used on mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades for equipment that is reaching the end of its useful life, according to Anderson.

That includes $730,000 to replace HVAC controls at both buildings, $200,000 to replace boilers at Melrose and $175,000 to replace a generator at Lawn. The middle school, which was built in 1951, also needs $375,000 for asbestos abatement and $420,000 to replace the windows.

According to Tracy Donnelly, an associate with the RGB firm, the wood frames for the windows have deteriorated so much the entire assembly must be removed to the masonry opening.

The application also sets aside money at the middle school to build a secure entrance into the gymnasium, repoint the brick exterior, reconfigure the fifth-grade wing and replace fuel tanks.

Lawn, which is 40 years older than its neighboring school, accounts for nearly 60 percent of the application.

According to Nota, the public should not be transfixed on the $6.71 million figure. For example, taxpayers only would be on the hook for $3.23 million of the $5.87 million bond if the district maximizes the reimbursement. That means during the 20-year bond, the town would pay $4.8 million, which includes interest.

“Our challenge is educating the community about the real cost,” he said. “We also could better our rate over the years, which will shift the debt dramatically. It could go down hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Moreover, Nota said, debt service for Melrose School comes off the books in 2021-22. That is costing taxpayers about $240,000 annually, which is similar to his estimated debt service if this plan were to be approved. Taxpayers only would be responsible for a maximum of two budget cycles that address both debts.

“Basically, this new debt will just replace the old debt,” he said. “It’ll be level. Our goal is to minimize the burden on the tax rate.”

While Councilman Blake Dickinson, the board’s lone Republican, voted to support the application, he remains steadfast in his charge to consider other options. Specifically, he wants to research the costs associated with building a new school. Dickinson is worried that after this five-year plan ends, another round of borrowing will be presented.

“I don’t disagree that we have to spend money, but I’m just questioning how we’re spending it,” he said. “I see $6.7 million for five years, but what’s going to stop us from spending $6.7 million in five years and $6.7 million five years after that?”

Sarah Baines, a school committeewoman, said she doesn’t expect that. According to her, this bond will be the lion’s share of the major repairs because the district is addressing equipment that will be guaranteed for 25 more years.

“It should be routine maintenance after that,” she said. “That’s what the surveyors are telling us.”

Also, Anderson said, because the Jacobs report did not recommend replacement buildings, it’s unlikely the state would reimburse a project of that magnitude.

The remaining $850,000 not included in the $5.87 million bond will be financed by capital expenditures through the school committee’s annual budgets. Over five years, those totals range from $114,000 in fiscal year 2018-19 to $239,000 in fiscal year 2022-23.

The working group included, from the schools, Anderson, Superintendent Ken Duva, both principals, business manager Jane Littlefield and B.J. Whitehouse, chairman of the school committee. On the town side were Nota, Councilman Mike White, Town Engineer Mike Gray and Finance Director Tina Collins.



RGB and Associated Firms Welcome Governor Gina Raimondo

IMG_2561IMG_2560IMG_2559RGB Architects Managing Principal David DeQuattro and architects and engineers from associated firms welcomed Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to RGB’s Providence office for a reception. The group enjoyed a holiday atmosphere and took the opportunity to reflect upon common ideas and experiences of the architecture, engineering, and construction industry.

Pictured are the Governor addressing the group, as well as RGB’s David DeQuattro, Luis Torrado of Torrado Architects, Jose Marcano of Jomar Painting, and Glenn Ahlborg of Ahlborg Construction.

North Providence Public Safety Complex Breaks Ground

The Town of North Providence commemorated the groundbreaking of a new Public Safety Complex this morning, led by Mayor Lombardi and joined by RGB Architects and contractor J.R. Vinagro. RGB is delivering design as well as extended construction administration services through our owner’s project management team. The project is budgeted at approximately $27 million and construction will be completed in late 2018.

RGB’s team: Andrew Barkley, Joseph Beretta, Ron Ashton, and John Racine
Breaking ground with Mayor Lombardi and the Chiefs
RGB’s Joseph Beretta, Mayor Lombardi, and Chief Takoian

RWMC breaks ground for Emergency Department

RGB President Joe Beretta and Project Manager Tracey Donnelly, AIA joined representatives from Chartercare/Roger Williams Medical Center and contractor Gilbane Building Company for a groundbreaking ceremony. The project will double the size of the existing emergency department while also renovating the existing space. RGB has performed as design architect on this continuing project.

Groundbreaking at Roger Williams Medical Center ED
Project Manager Tracey Donnelly and President Joseph Beretta
Groundbreaking at Roger Williams Medical Center ED
Groundbreaking at Roger Williams Medical Center ED
Groundbreaking at Roger Williams Medical Center ED
Groundbreaking at Roger Williams Medical Center ED