Today General Treasurer and School Construction Task Force Co-Chair Seth Magaziner joined East Providence Mayor Roberto L. Da Silva, Superintendent Kathryn Crowley, Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council President Michael Sabitoni and community members to release Moving Forward: A Progress Report on Rhode Island School Construction, that outlines the progress of the statewide school construction program developed by the Task Force co-chaired by Magaziner in 2017. In total the report outlines the repair or replacement of over 160 schools, creating more than 21,000 jobs, with additional projects still pending approval. ? "Every child deserves to go to school in buildings that are warm, safe, dry, and equipped for 21st century learning," said Treasurer Seth Magaziner, a former public school teacher. " A short three years into the implementation of the statewide School Construction program, over $1 billion has been allocated to modernize or replace 163 school buildings with more to come."
Today's progress announcement was made at the site of the new East Providence High School, currently the largest school construction project in the state. The new 304,000 square-foot, four-story school facility is on track to open in September 2021, with capacity for 1,600 students in grades 9-12, with sustainable design features. It will replace the prior school built in 1952 that had previously been identified as one of the lowest quality high school buildings in the state.
"We are ecstatic about the construction of our state-of-the-art high school," Mayor Bob DaSilva said. "The success in the planning and construction of this magnificent school is evident because of the dedication and determination displayed by our state leaders down through our superintendent, building committee and our City of East Providence staff who have worked tirelessly to have this beautiful high school built on time and on budget for our current students and East Providence's future students and we couldn't be prouder."
The Task Force appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo in 2017 and co-chaired by Magaziner and then-Education Commissioner Ken Wagner developed a plan to make a once-in-a-generation plan to enhance Rhode Island's school buildings. The bond referendum supporting the plan was subsequently approved by the General Assembly and Rhode Island voters in a 2018 referendum. This report marks the first comprehensive status update of the school construction program since it launched.
"Providing our kids with a world-class education requires collaboration across all offices and disciplinary fields; and when we do that we can achieve tremendous goals like the building of the new East Providence High School," said East Providence Superintendent Kathryn Crowley. "These are facilities that are being built around the fields and sciences of tomorrow, so that when they graduate they are ready for college or to enter a competitive workforce. I want to thank Treasurer Magaziner and Mayor DaSilva for their continued advocacy and work in making this project possible, helping us provide students the education they deserve."
The report also includes a series of recommendations to ensure continued progress in executing on the vision of the Task Force for all Rhode Island students to attend high quality school buildings.
"Every one of these investments is in an investment in the future of our state, while supporting our local economy by putting Rhode Islanders to work," said Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council President Michael Sabitoni. "As we look to recover from the pandemic, this building is a testament of what is possible when we work together to make an investment in our schools. Behind me is the prime example of what other communities can accomplish as we reinvest in our school building infrastructure."
In the coming weeks, Treasurer Magaziner will join local leaders to tour school construction projects in other communities across the state. The Moving Forward: A Progress Report on Rhode Island School Construction report can be found at http://treasury.ri.gov/schools/
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