Approval provides funding for facilities improvements at 13 schools across four districts; Central Falls to build first new high school in nearly 100 years   

 

The Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education tonight voted to approve more than $330 million in new school construction projects across Rhode Island, allowing for educational enhancements, health and safety improvements, and five new or like new schools to be built, including a new Central Falls High School and dual language school for prekindergarten through eighth grade students in the same city.

“To best prepare our students for their futures, we must take bold action and transform our public education infrastructure from the ground up,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Today’s approval by the Council is an affirmation of my administration’s commitment to improving school facilities and student outcomes across Rhode Island. We look forward to visiting these new and renovated schools and seeing the positive impact they have on our school communities.”

The Council voted to approve the following projects:

  • Central Falls: 5 schools, 2,596 students
  • Two new schools: Central Falls High School (currently 95 years old – built in 1927) and a new dual language PK-8; renovations to Calcutt, Ella Risk, and Veterans Memorial Middle School 
  • East Providence: 3 schools, 1,367 students
  • A new Martin Middle School and major renovations to Waddington Elementary School; improvements to Orlo Avenue Elementary  
  • Glocester: 2 schools, 577 students
  • Health and safety repairs, including roof and security, fire alarm, emergency lighting, outdoor classroom, library improvements and well-being rooms 
  • Westerly: 3 schools, 786 students
  • New elementary school at the site of the Spring Street School; renovations to Springbrook and Dunn’s Corner Elementary Schools, and an addition to Dunn’s  
  • Total: 13 projects impacting 5,335 students  

“For far too long, poorly designed and maintained facilities have hindered student learning,” said Council Chair Patti DiCenso. “The Council is proud to approve these additional projects that will advance our mission of providing an excellent education to all students, regardless of their zip code.”

“Today’s approval by the Council sends a clear message to our students, educators, and families that Rhode Island listens and is fully committed to rebuilding our education system from the ground up,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We are grateful to our local education agencies for their urgency, and innovation in creating state-of-the-art, sustainable learning environments, some of which our students are already learning in today. Together, we have embarked on a journey that will greatly benefit generations of students, educators, families, and communities across Rhode Island.”

Tuesday’s vote follows the Council’s May approval of $550 million for 26 new projects across nine districts. School construction projects in Rhode Island can be reimbursed partially by the state using funds from the 2018 and 2022 school construction bonds. The state’s share of these projects is determined by the community’s individual reimbursement rate. In total, the state’s share of the $330 million in projects approved by the Council is $235 million.

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