Please vote yes for the Newport School Bond in the upcoming November 2020 Election. Rogers was identified as being in the worst condition of any high school in R.I. and Pell is overcrowded. We really cannot delay the decision. To get the reimbursement, we need to break ground by 12/20/22. If the bond is approved, we will have a new high school by 2024.
I realize that many people and businesses are having a difficult time during this pandemic, but the opportunity for State reimbursement for building a new high school and adding additional space to the Pell school is the best financial deal we will ever have. First, if we pass the $106.3M bond, we will most likely get the RIDE reimbursement of 52.5%. That will reduce Newport’s share of the cost to $50.5M. Second, borrowing costs are currently very low and will minimize the cost of the bond over time.
If we do not approve the bond, we will need to spend $72M for repairs alone to Rogers for structural issues and safety concerns, with no reimbursement from the State. Over the next decade, we WILL need a new school. It is doubtful the State will have funds in the future to offer these kinds of incentives on new schools. Most Newporters voted for the $250M State school construction bond in 2018 which enables the State to reimburse cities for new schools. These RIDE incentives WILL NOT be available in the future.
Dreams of acquiring enough property in the North End or getting Regional agreement are unrealistic. The city does not own enough land in the North End. Middletown has refused, time and time again, to discuss regionalization with Newport. Portsmouth is not interested either.
The approval of the bond would result in a high school that is safe and state-of-the-art. The students would be excited to attend it and make use of its 21st century learning environment. Classroom crowding in PELL would be eliminated and ELL services would be expanded. These improvements will provide opportunities for boosting student achievement. The Newport community would be as proud of our schools as we are as proud of our mansions.
Key deadlines for 2020 Presidential Election:
Mail-in Ballots Applications were recently mailed to all Rhode Islanders
Oct 4—-Last day to register
Oct 13—last day to request application for mail-in ballot (if you didn’t get one)
Oct 14—Nov 2 Early in-person voting period (new for 2020)
Nov 3- Election Day
I hope I can count on your “yes” vote for the bond. Stay safe and healthy…