Campaign seeks voter approval of $125M bond sale for University of Rhode Island engineering

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Government, education and business officials are launching a campaign to win voter approval for a $125 million bond sale to upgrade the University of Rhode Island's engineering facilities.

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Officials are set to gather at Toray Plastics at Quonset Point in North Kingstown's engineering facility on Monday to begin the campaign they say is critical for URI and Rhode Island.

Toray Plastics President and CEO Mike Brandmeier says the corporation is pledging $2 million toward the project.

The university and the URI Foundation plan to announce at the event that the Taco White Family Foundation also will donate $400,000 to support the College of Engineering. URI says the gift would be used for the proposed new engineering facilities on the campus if the bond referendum passes, and to fund an endowed scholarship.

The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1t9WXkm ) that URI President David M. Dooley says Rhode Island companies say they need more engineers. Buildings at URI's College of Engineering date to the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the dean says they lack modern laboratories and interactive classrooms.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com