The Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) is more than just a building for University of Minnesota researchers and staff, it’s a community centerpiece for North Minneapolis residents, where community-identified social and economic challenges are addressed through mutually beneficial partnerships.
Located on the corner of Penn and Plymouth avenues in North Minneapolis, UROC’s building is also a gathering place for community members, who are invited to participate in public conversations, exhibits and events that touch on issues important to a culturally diverse population.
The building itself meets high state standards for reducing energy, enhancing health and productivity for UROC staff and visitors, and improving the quality of the natural environment. It also surpassed the University’s goal of hiring and subcontracting at least 30 percent women- and minority-owned businesses, which is triple the customary University goal. The final UROC record showed that 26 women- and minority-owned businesses participated in the renovation for a total of $1,462,202 in contracts—38 percent of total construction cost.
The University partnered with Stahl Construction and Best Enterprises on the project. Urban Design Perspectives and Charles Levin Architects were the project architects. Archie Givens, CEO and director of the Legacy Management and Development Corp., oversaw the renovation. Community recommendations for UROC's building and grounds can be found in Imaging Art and A New Landscape, a report co-authored by founding UROC Executive Director Irma McClaurin based on a workshop exploring landscape and art opportunities surrounding UROC.
To view other historical projects and documents, visit the UROC's archived website.
UROC's hours of operations are:
Monday through Thursday—8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday—8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday—8 a.m. to 3 p.m.