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Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Approves $550M in School Construction Projects

May 18, 2022

PROVIDENCE, RI — The Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education has voted to approve $550 million in new school construction projects across Rhode Island, allowing for educational enhancements, health and safety improvements, new physical education and media centers, and five new schools to be built.

These improvements literally span the state: from our southernmost point on Block Island to Cumberland in the north, and from Tiverton in the east to Scituate in the west,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Today’s approval by the Council is an affirmation of my administration’s commitment to fixing schools in every corner of Rhode Island. We are excited to hit the ground running and give these communities all the support they need to build great schools for our kids”

“Our school construction program is transforming hundreds of school buildings across the state. That initial investment culminates today in the release of the last of those funds,” said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “Now we must move forward with a second state school construction bond, to continue this vital work so that all children can go to schools that are warm, safe, dry, and equipped for twenty-first century learning.”

Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said, “In the last few years, communities across Rhode Island have been energized by school improvement and construction projects. In many places, the benefits of these long-overdue investments in educational facilities are already being enjoyed. This latest round of approvals will enable more cities and towns to replace aging and ailing facilities with safe, modern and engaging learning spaces. Our children deserve every resource and advantage we can provide, and these projects represent the foundation of our state’s future.”

The Council voted to approve the following projects:

  • Blackstone Valley Prep — 6 schools, 2,156 students  
    • High school addition, property purchases, health and safety improvements
  • Lincoln — 6 schools, 3,252 students
    • Physical education center, new media centers, and educational enhancements at four elementary schools
  • Little Compton — 1 school, 209 students
    • New media center, and health and safety
  • New Shoreham — 1 school, 129 students 
    • HVAC upgrades, educational enhancements, and health and safety improvements
  • Providence — 3 schools, 2000 students
    • Three new schools: PreK-8 at Peace Street, 6-8 at Spaziano, and PreK-5 at Kizirian.
  • Scituate — 4 schools, 1,196 students
    • Health and safety improvements
  • Smithfield — 1 school, 791 students
    • Energy efficiency, site work and physical education improvements
  • Tiverton — 2 schools, 1,034 students
    • Health and safety improvements
  • Warwick — 2 schools, 2,396 students
    • Construction of two new high schools

“The Council is proud to approve this plan to create world-class facilities in communities across Rhode Island,” said Council Chair Patti DiCenso. “When our students have access to 21st-century tools and resources, they graduate ready for 21st-century careers. The other Council members and I look forward to visiting these new schools once construction is completed and seeing the difference made for our children.”

“Our communities deserve schools whose construction reflects the thought and care they hold for their children,” said RIDE Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “The plans put forward by the nine districts tonight were approved because they have the necessary level of diligent, thorough planning to ensure that students will be able to learn and grow in these facilities for decades to come. We are grateful to them for their work and we hope other communities can look to these projects for inspiration in their own facilities improvement plans.”

School construction projects in Rhode Island can be reimbursed partially by the state using funds from the 2018 school construction bond. The state’s share of these projects are determined by their community’s individual reimbursement rate. In total, the state’s share of the $550 million in projects approved by the Council is $145 million.