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School Committee Reviews $40M Building Project List

[CREDIT: File Photo] Warwick Veterans Jr. High School at 2401 W Shore Road.

[CREDIT: File Photo] Warwick Veterans Jr. High School at 2401 W Shore Rd,
WARWICK, RI — The Warwick Schools Building Committee presented a list of $40 million in school improvement projects scheduled for the summer in 2019 and 2020 during Tuesday’s school committee meeting.

The projects will be funded by a bond approved by voters Nov. 6.

The SBC also reviewed its Detail Projects list, documenting all the projects for the schools by category.

“The roster as presented states we will need to seek $6,180,902 from the City Council by January 2019 in order to have funding available to pay for the projects during the summer of 2019,” said Anthony Ferrucci, chairman of the building committee in a letter to Superintendent Philip Thornton.

In addition, the school department will seek $9.1 million in January 2020 for summer 2020 projects as well as architectural and engineering costs for potential projects to be undertaken during the summer of 2021, Ferrucci noted.

A total of $1.1 million will be allocated for fire alarm/life safety projects for four elementary schools, Winman Middle School, and Toll Gate High School.

Re-roofing projects for Toll Gate High School, Sherman Elementary School, and Wyman Elementary School total $1.5 million.

ADA compliant playgrounds for Warwick Neck Elementary School and Lippitt Elementary School will cost $300,000. The total for all these summer 2019 projects is $4.5 million which includes construction, architectural, and engineering costs.

The total for the summer 2020 projects is $7 million. The list includes fire alarm/life safety projects for seven elementary schools, reroofing projects for four elementary schools, and ADA access for Holliman Elementary School, Wyman Elementary School, Warwick Vets High School, and Pilgrim High School.

The school committee also approved a resolution returning Holden Elementary School to the city within the next two weeks. The school was closed last June as part of the district’s school consolidation plan. The district is completing its transition from a junior high to a middle school model – moving the sixth grade to Warwick Vets and Winman.

When Ferrucci mentioned that the Smithfield school department was going to be allowed to take the remaining furniture in the school free of charge, committee member Karen Bachus stated her reservations.

“I think our teachers should get things that they need before we give it to an outside district,” said Bachus.

Ferrucci said principals from the schools were allowed to choose furniture they wanted to take from Holden.

“We followed all the protocols”, Ferrucci noted. “After the equipment is considered disposable, we have a pecking order of reaching out by school committee procedures that non-profits in other school districts are offered the opportunity to take the equipment so it doesn’t cost us anything to dispose of it. I know there was engagement with teachers throughout this process.”

The school committee also were presented with a Strategic Plan for the district. The proposals contained within the plan include the formation of a technology committee and establishment of effective technology infrastructure, stronger home-school partnerships, build productive business relationships, and improve the working relationship between the Warwick Teachers Union, the WISE Union, and the Warwick administration.

 Member David Testa told the committee he was “encouraged” by the plan.

“We can’t do enough professional development,” Testa said. “Communication is critical. There is such a disparity in this district, especially at the high school level, with communications that come to parents. Frankly, we can do a lot better in certain areas. We’re done consolidating buildings, now we can deal with improving the infrastructure that we have left and we need to focus on achievement.”

Thornton said the committee would vote on the Strategic Plan next month.

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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