- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) - The University of Rhode Island has broken ground on a new center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

URI President David Dooley was joined by Gov. Chafee and other officials at the groundbreaking Wednesday. The $2.1 million, 4,300-square-foot center will be built on the site of the vacant Ruggles House, which is being torn down.

The school says the free-standing center will be a safe and affirming place for members of the LGBTQ community and is designed to give the community a strong identity.

Dooley says the center’s construction is to “acknowledge and celebrate the diversity that’s part of our community now and will be in the future.”

It’s expected to be completed in spring of 2015.

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