Demolition Begins to Clear Construction Site for New Facilities
Governor Donald L. Carcieri today officially kicked off a $73 million project to build a new Rhode Island Training School at the Pastore Complex in Cranston. The new Training School will be comprised of two state-of-the-art, secure facilities that will replace the existing facility built in 1960.
At a ceremony on the site of the new training school, the first of several vacant state offices was demolished. Once demolition is completed, construction will begin with the facilities expected to be completed in early winter 2007.
The new facilities will include a 52-bed Youth Assessment Facility for those youths who are awaiting adjudication in the courts and a 96-bed Youth Development Facility for youths who are serving sentences. The Youth Development Facility will contain classrooms for education and treatment, clinic, gymnasium, media center, cafeteria, and outdoor recreation.
“Today’s event is testimony to the fact that we are making progress and we are finally turning the corner on how Rhode Island serves troubled youths,” said Governor Carcieri, who was joined by Patricia Martinez, the Director of the Department of Children, Youth & Families; Family Court Chief Justice Jeremiah S. Jeremiah, Jr.; Warren Hurlbut, the Superintendent of the Rhode Island Training School; as well as local legislators and advocates.
The Governor committed to the Training School project last year, and worked with the General Assembly during the past legislative session to ensure its funding. When this project funding received final approval, Governor Carcieri’s Administration assured legislators that construction activity would begin before the end of the year.
The new Training School, Governor Carcieri said, has been planned using the “best practices” of juvenile facilities from across the country. The layout of the new facilities and the programming for the youths incorporate state-of-the-art technology. When completed, the Training School will be fully accredited by the American Corrections Association.
“These two facilities will be an essential part of a seamless system that will enable us to better serve youth by enhancing programming that will ultimately get our youth on the right path,” Carcieri said.
“We must create an atmosphere where youth receive the support and guidance they need to become more productive adults,” Carcieri added. “Additionally, these new facilities will enable us to provide services to youth more efficiently and, in turn, in a more effective fashion.”
Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and a member of an ad hoc committee of advocates said, “Today is an important day in moving ahead with a new Training School plan that will achieve better outcomes for the over 1,000 Rhode Island youth who are at the Training School during the course of a year.”
“The new Training School, including the community-based transition component, will ensure better programming and a greater likelihood for success when the youth return to their communities. It is far more cost effective for the state to successfully rehabilitate these young people so they can lead productive lives then to have them return here again and again.”