The 2021-2022 Newport Public School Year is off to a great start! It is exciting to have everybody back in person full time. Both School Building Projects have been busy this summer moving forward at a steady pace. The Pell expansion project is a full year ahead of schedule and groundbreaking took place August 12th with many community, state leaders, residents and Pell students in attendance. The photos and speeches were fabulous. As planned the Pell expansion includes 8 new classrooms, 4 breakout spaces with added bathrooms along with a new bus loop for safety, additional parking and an improved traffic flow for student drop-off. The SBC and Design-Build team are working on the final touches for the Welcome Center and a few other items all to be reported in our next update in October.
The New Rogers High School project has been evolving over the last several months to ensure maximum program space by moving the new building to the least costly location on its current site. This change allows us to leave the electric power source in its current position, most rock blasting will not be necessary and the building is further away from neighbors to accommodate them. We will be merging program activities into under-used spaces (ex: blending Library/media center with cafeteria seating and condensing all construction technologies into a single, larger space) all together saving millions. S/L/A/M, our architects, have created an effective, efficient design while siting the building for maximum lighting and sustainability; allowing us to expand our sports fields from 1 to 3. S/L/A/M is also designing this building with safety and security as a top priority. Entrances will all be closely monitored with state-of-the-art security features. We will have the ability to section off academic areas from community areas enabling residents use for lifelong learning and health/wellness activities during evenings and weekends.
In late August, 30 team members including many RHS Department Heads toured the new East Providence High School that opened this September for students. There were many take-aways small and large as their Academic and Career Technical Programs are integrated similarly to the new Rogers design. We were all extremely impressed and are very excited about Newport’s future.
The latest Rogers design is about 30% complete and S/L/A/M has sent their design for pricing to 3 vendors so we should have costs in October. We are hoping the numbers will not have the same COVID escalation costs that we saw last spring. The leadership team has been working with potential funders to help us manage these expected increases, as well as, ensuring all NPS current programs can remain in the new Rogers. In late October we will need to submit a final Schematic Design to RIDE that balances with our budget.
We want to thank the voters of Newport for their support of our schools! Our dreams are becoming a reality and we appreciate your support!
Rebecca Bolan & Louisa Boatwright
Co-Chairs of Newport School Building Committee