The executive committee for the Alliance For A Livable Newport has shared with What’sUpNewp the following letter that they have submitted to members of Newport City Council;
“The Alliance for a Livable Newport looks forward to the NPS/School Committee/City Council workshop on August 15, 2019. Monumental decisions are forthcoming that will determine the long-term quality of education for our students and the attendant costs for the facilities and environments necessary to house them.
Given these significant, far reaching and costly decisions and their impact on Newport taxpayers, ALN asks that the following issues be examined and addressed prior to and during the workshop and before proceeding with the Stage One submission to the RI Department of Education:
1. Secure a more definitive cost for renovating Coggeshall to accommodate Pre-K to1st (the early learning center) and explore other north side options for a new ELC, including adjacencies to the current Pell school or CCRI. Bussing/driving pre-K children, the majority whom live north of Memorial, all the way south to the current Rogers High School site seems imprudent.
2. Determine what a minimal “band-aid solution” for current Rogers would cost, one that would take the school through the next 5-8 years until north end land is freed up. This also allows the door to possible Middletown unification be left open for the foreseeable future.
3. Determine exactly why a new H.S. (or ELC) couldn’t be located on CCRI adjacent, city owned land. What commitments does the City have that would preclude this opportunity?
4. Determine what the fall-back position is should a $100 million + bond not be approved. This would include addressing what would happen to Newport’s HS students should that be the case.
5. Explore the possibility of bonding and proceeding with construction of the ELC (site other than at Wickham Rd.) and budgeting for remedial efforts only at Thompson, Pell and Rogers.
Unlike current plans, such a bond:
– Falls within the “tolerance” level of Newport voters (est.+/- $30MM rather than $100MM plus)
– Postpones the building of a costly, all new Newport only H.S. until absolutely necessary
– Leaves open the possibility of future H.S. unification with Middletown
– Allows the City to consider the use of available land, freed-up by RIDOT’s bridge realignment project.
– Locates future school construction projects where the majority of students live and play.
– John Hirschboeck
– Ron Becker
– Isabel GriffithCo-presidents
Alliance for a Livable Newport”
On Thursday, August 15th, ALN presented the following to the Newport City Council and Newport School Committee during their joint-workshop.