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General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today celebrated the extension of the school construction program developed by the Task Force he co-chaired in 2017. The Fiscal Year 2023 Budget passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly and signed today by Governor Dan McKee includes $300 million of funding for the statewide school construction program, including a $250 million bond proposal for voters to consider on the 2022 ballot.
As co-chair of the Rhode Island School Building Task Force, Treasurer Magaziner led the development of a once-in-a-generation plan to repair or replace Rhode Island's public school buildings that provides enhanced state funding for public school districts. The Fiscal Year 2023 Budget ensures that school districts will continue to be able to apply for enhanced state funding through 2023.
“All students deserve to attend schools that are safe, warm, dry, and equipped for 21st-century learning,” said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “I thank the members of the General Assembly for continuing this historic investment in Rhode Island’s students and school buildings. Rhode Islanders understand that investing in our schools and in our students is how we build a strong economy for the future, and I look forward to when voters across the state will approve this measure on Tuesday, November 8.”
Treasurer Magaziner’s statewide school construction program was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 and has since allocated more than $2.2 billion in funding to repair or replace over 200 school buildings across 31 districts in Rhode Island. These schools serve nearly 100,000 students annually and the projects to repair or replace the schools have created more than 36,000 jobs.
Examples of school construction projects recently completed, currently, or soon to be underway include:
Cranston voters overwhelmingly supported a 2020 proposal to rebuild two schools, Garden City and Gladstone Elementary Schools, and to launch major renovations at Park View Middle School, Eden Park Elementary School, and Cranston High West, benefiting over 9,400 students annually.
Smithfield renovated and expanded all three of its elementary schools, adding pre-K classrooms to the Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary School, and updating the cafeteria at Pleasant View, while also adding a new music room, media center, and gym.
Narragansett will upgrade Narragansett Elementary and Middle Schools as well as modernize and expand Narragansett High School. North Kingstown voters overwhelmingly approved a $13.5 million proposal in 2018 that includes renovations to Davisville Middle School, several elementary schools, and sports facilities that complement the new, state-of-the-art North Kingstown High School that serves as a model for surrounding communities.
Newport recently broke ground on a new 164,567 square-foot facility to replace Rogers High School, which was built in 1957 and its condition made it the worst-rated high school in the 2017 statewide assessment of all 306 public school buildings in Rhode Island.
86% of Johnston voters approved a $215 million proposal in April 2022 to finance the largest modernization of education facilities in the town’s history. School construction projects include the closure and consolidation of four elementary schools into one new state-of-the-art school with a new gymnasium, media center, and science and technology labs to support art, music, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education, major renovations to the Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School and Johnston High School, in addition to a new early childhood center and new and expanded career as well as technical training programming for high school students.