- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island College is celebrating the opening of its newly renovated arts building.

The college held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday to mark the completion of the $18.6 million renovation. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo and Alex and Ani CEO Carolyn Rafaelian attended.

The building was renamed Alex and Ani Hall after the trendy Cranston jewelry maker, which pledged to give $1 million over a period of 10 years.

The hall was built after voters in 2010 approved a $17 million bond measure to renovate the existing building and add classrooms, art studios, workshop areas, labs and office space.

It serves as the main hub for the college’s art programs and activities.

Rafaelian says she’s thrilled the center will benefit thousands of students.

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