Rice University’s temporary outdoor campus expansion on track for Aug. 21 opening

Rice University is still set to open its Provisional Campus Facilities on Aug. 21. (Courtesy Brandon Martin/Rice University)
Rice University is still set to open its Provisional Campus Facilities on Aug. 21. (Courtesy Brandon Martin/Rice University)

Rice University is still set to open its Provisional Campus Facilities on Aug. 21. (Courtesy Brandon Martin/Rice University)

Rice University remains on track to open what it calls its Provisional Campus Facilities—a cluster of temporary tent-like buildings designed to allow greater physical distancing measures—on Aug. 21, the university announced Aug. 10.

“This has been a very compressed schedule, from designing, permitting and building all within the space of two months,” said Larry Vossler, senior project manager in Facilities, Engineering and Planning, in a release.

The four semi-permanent structures are under construction, with the first expected to open in time to serve as home base for Sid Richardson College’s orientation week activities, which start Aug. 16.

Each structure is 50 feet by 70 feet and will be equipped with air conditioning and heating systems, automatically opening doors, power outlets, moveable furniture and audiovisual capabilities. Each was also designed to provide flexible study spaces in the evenings.

In addition to the semi-permanent structures, Rice University will add five temporary open-sided tents across campus to provide more event space.


“This is allowing us to create spaces where people can safely physically distance and still have social interaction, whether it’s in a classroom structure or in a setting where they’re doing an activity with a larger student group,” said Susann Glenn, director of communications for administration.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.