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The Walley Schools community arts center initiative began in the fall of 2011 and a joint project between the City of Bristol and Roger Williams University’s School of Architecture. Shortly following, the Gabelli School of Business was asked to development a business case for its reuse as a community arts center. Four students in the Management 439 Business Planning course volunteered. The business case was developed in conjunction with the Town of Bristol, the initiative’s steering committee, Roger Williams University’s Community partnership, the School of Architecture and the School of Construction Management.


Having a large capacity (over 300 seats) in Walley School demands a major investment in space and cost. Taking this into consideration, the business planning team conducted research and spoke with several individuals in an attempt to inventory and assess the community’s auditorium capabilities. Our research on existing auditorium spaces uncovered many interesting things. We found that there are over 15 existing auditorium spaces available within a 17-mile radius from the Walley School building available for public use.

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