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New High Schools: Dimeo Construction Named Construction Manager

[CREDIT: WP composite] A $350M new high schools project will begin in late 2024.

[CREDIT: WP composite] A $350M new high schools project will begin in late 2024.
[CREDIT: WP composite] A $350M new high schools project will begin in late 2024.
WARWICK, RI — Tuesday, the School Committee approved Dimeo Construction as the new high schools project Construction Manager, to replace Pilgrim and Toll Gate High Schools.

Construction on the project will commence in November or December, according to Chris Spiegel, the Senior Project Manager for Left Field Project Management.

Construction manager interviews with four firms were held the week of April 1. The building committee recommended Dimeo, based in Providence, for the position. Scores were provided for all the firms.  

“The train has really left the station now,” said committee vice-chair David Testa, who also sits on the building committee.

“There’s going be a lot of work has to be done in the next 10 months,” said Spiegel. “That work in the next 10 months will define how much (Dimeo’s) fee is and how much their general conditions is. We award based on pre-construction. As the numbers are rallied, then we add an amendment to the contract.”

“The presentations last week were fantastic,” said committee chairman Shaun Galligan. “The process really shows the general public the level in which you are all going to make sure that we get the right company in there to build these high schools. That we’re not rushing the process. So that way we can get everything done on-time and on-budget as we promised this community.”

In November 2022, voters approved a $350 million bond to pay for the project. The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) may reimburse the district for the construction of the new high schools for $314 million out of the $350 million bond instead of $300 million as originally anticipated, said Stephen Gothberg, Director of Buildings and Grounds.

The total cost of Pilgrim is $175 million. The total cost of Toll Gate is $174.5 million. Saccoccio and Associates will be working on the design for Toll Gate. Pilgrim will be designed by Saam Architecture. 

Warwick Chronic Absenteeism Declines, Staff Gift Policy Tabled

Assistant Superintendent William McCaffrey reported a decline in chronic absenteeism. The schools with the highest reductions were Norwood Elementary School – 20 percent, Park Elementary – 17 percent, and Greenwood Elementary by 17 percent. 

The School Committee tabled a second reading of policy GBI – Staff Gifts and Solicitations. It will be reviewed by the Policy subcommittee and brought back at a future meeting. 

“I would hate if we’re discouraging (civic organizations) or putting language around it that would put them in a difficult position,” said Galligan. “I think generating funds for charity for your own colleagues if they’ve fallen on hard times is a little different than throwing a lottery in your building.”

 The policy reads in part:

Students and their parents shall be discouraged from the routine presentation of gifts to school employees.  Where a student feels a spontaneous desire to present a gift to a staff member, the gift shall not be elaborate or unduly expensive ($25 or higher). Staff members shall report the receipt of any gift in excess of this amount to the building principal.

The provisions herein shall not be interpreted as intended to discourage acts of generosity in unusual situations.


No public school official or public school employee shall, for any purpose, solicit or exact from any student in any school any contribution or gift of money or any article of value, or any pledge to contribute any money or article of value.

In-school solicitation of staff and/or students by salespeople or other business representatives is prohibited.  Such solicitation should be reported to the building principal. 

No organization, including charitable or humanitarian organizations, may solicit funds from staff and/or students at school or through school electronic communications systems or distribute flyers at school or on school property without the prior approval of the superintendent.


Joe Siegel
Author: Joe Siegel

Joe Siegel is a regular contributing writer for His reporting has appeared in The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro and EDGE.

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