Aerial view of Rogers High School. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

The Committee Building Newport’s Future issued the following statement in response to the overwhelming passage of Newport’s local question 2 to rebuild Rogers High School and expand Pell Elementary School. 

As of 1:10 am on November 4, 78% of Newport voters had voted to approve the bond question.

The statement

The Chair of The Committee Building Newport’s Future, Amy Machado stated, “Thank you to the voters of Newport for supporting our children and voting to invest in our future. Our campaign was a true grassroots effort by students, teachers, parents, and community members.”

Newport’s local question 2 was placed on the ballot after passage of Rhode Island General Assembly legislation SB 2853 in late July, following a resolution passed by the Newport City Council in May. The $106.3 million bond will:

  • Replace the worst high school facility in the state with a new state-of-the-art Rogers High School.
  • Provide enhanced academics through Career & Technical Education integration to connect our young people and adults with modern careers. 
  • Provide 8 new classrooms at Pell Elementary School to relieve overcrowding and address site issues.

Newport is eligible for 52.5% state reimbursement for the projects based upon the formulas established by Rhode Island’s 2018 statewide bond.

“Since Newport’s School Building Committee began meeting in March 2018, we’ve held countless public meetings, received hundreds of public comments, reviewed reports and studies, and weighed options and alternatives. It’s been crystal clear that Newport’s students are in desperate need of these school improvements – they needed us to act, not stall with further studies,” said Kendra Muenter, the Treasurer of The Committee Building Newport’s Future. 

The opponents to question 2 promoted regionalization, encouraging voters to support non-incumbent Middletown Town Council candidates who were in favor of a regionalization study. Early results from the Middletown Town Council race indicate that all incumbents seeking re-election will win.

Outgoing School Committee Member and Committee Building Newport’s Future Secretary Aida Neary said, “While other elections remain too close to call, the overwhelming support of the school bond show a clear mandate by Newporters to support our education system. Providing a quality education for our children sets them on a path for success in their life and I’m grateful to the voters for pulling together for our children, for our schools, for our teachers, for our taxpayers, and for our future.”

Ryan Belmore is the 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.