Buildings in every district in the state get a failing grade in Rhode Island’s first-ever statewide, independent study of public school facilities.

The Rhode Island Department of Education’s 2017 State of Rhode Island Schoolhouses report forecasts $627.5 million in high-priority construction and repairs needed to keep students and teachers warm, safe, and dry in their classrooms. The statewide cost to bring all school buildings into ideal condition is estimated at $2.2 billion.

Local Assessment

Schools in Newport were visited three times during the Statewide Facilities Assessment by teams of specialists in March of 2016. The report, which provides LEA summary findings for the statewide assessment program, states Rogers High School, Thompson Middle School, and Pell Elementary School have the greatest combined 5-year need.

Rogers High School, which is one of the 10 worst campuses out of the 306 surveyed in RI, reportedly has a combined 5-year need of $51,435,651.

Thompson Middle School’s combine 5-year need is reportedly $5,552,904, while Pell Elementary School is $2,736,596.

Five Year Need Summary

The current deficiencies for Newport Public Schools total $42,454,251, with 49.3% categorized as Priority 2 and another 25.5% as Priority 3. The building systems with the highest current deficiency costs are Mechanical and Exterior. The projected life-cycle need in Years 1 through 5 is $17,270,900. It is anticipated that the majority of the need will occur in Year 5. School(s) with the greatest need are represented in the adjacent table and makeup 100.0% of the combined 5-Year need at Newport.

Public Forum Scheduled

Governor Raimondo, Treasurer Magaziner, and Commissioner Wagner are holding community forums across Rhode Island to get public input on how to move forward, and they want to hear from the public.

State leaders- the Governor, Treasurer and the state school construction board will be at Rogers High School 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 12, 2017, in the auditorium to hear what the public has to say about Newport School buildings and community needs.

View the Newport Facilities reports, the statewide report and the statewide action plan here.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.