IYRS was founded in 1993 on a 2.5 acre waterfront property in Newport, RI. It later opened a state-of-the-art campus in Bristol, RI. The Newport campus is home to two historic buildings, one constructed as an electric generating plant in 1903, and the other a textile mill in 1831. The latter building, which was restored in 2009, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the campus is fully restored and home to a commercial marina, a world-class library, and the School of Boatbuilding & Restoration. IYRS’ Bristol, RI campus is home to the School of Composites Technology and School of Marine Systems.
1993: IYRS is founded.
1995: The 1903 electric generating plant is restored and renamed Restoration Hall, and it becomes home to the school’s first program in Boatbuilding & Restoration. The first students enter the program in 1996.
1995: The school acquires the 1885 133-foot schooner yacht Coronet. The yacht is a rare survivor of her era, whose contemporaries have mostly vanished—from sinking, grounding, or neglect.
1998: IYRS celebrates the first class of graduates from the School of Boatbuilding & Restoration who enter the workforce.
2004: The IYRS Board hires professional management to begin a process of growing the school.
2006: IYRS launches a second full-time program in Marine Systems at a new location in Bristol. Developed in partnership with the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the program prepares students to sit for the industry ABYC & NMEA certification exams, gold-medal standards in the marine trades.
2006: The schooner yacht Coronet is conveyed to Coronet Restoration Partners, an organization that shares the same high standards for historic restoration as IYRS, and the group continues the restoration project on the IYRS campus. This large-yacht restoration becomes a magnet for the public and a channel for student internships.
2007: IYRS acquires the Museum of Yachting, located across Newport Harbor. Both organizations preserve maritime traditions: the school’s focus is vocational training while the museum educates the public through exhibitions and events. The school and the museum coordinate their projects, events and exhibits.
2008: The school’s second historic building, the Aquidneck mill building, is restored; a new world-class library is built to house the combined school and museum library. The community celebrates the school’s commitment to improving Newport and neighborhood quality of life and activity.
2010: IYRS launches its third full-time program in Composites Technology. The program is designed to train for many industries seeking to utilize advanced manufacturing materials, technology, and more broadly, expanding the school’s educational focus into new industries and areas of technical study and making.
2011: IYRS develops composites collaborations with MIT, RISD, Harvard and Roger Williams University.
2012: IYRS enters into a hallmark articulation agreement with Roger Williams University in Bristol, allowing the IYRS students to earn associate and bachelor degrees.
2013: IYRS forms collaboration with Salve Regina University to offer expanded student services and begins development of a fourth accredited program.
2014: IYRS introduces “Make Anything Possible™” as official branding mission for the institution, effectively conveying the goal to enroll and educate forward thinking, talented and innovative craftspeople and makers.
2013 – 2014: IYRS begins to be recognized by the press and institutions in Rhode Island and the region as a model for experiential learning, preparing makers and builders for careers in both traditional and 21st century manufacturing jobs.