opinion Newport Rhode Island

Last week the “last beam” was placed on the Pell addition with all students signing the beam! This milestone is a year ahead of schedule, from the timeline voters approved just last November– GREAT NEWS!  Our team of Behan Brothers, Studio JAED, Downes and the School Building Committee (SBC) has fast-tracked the project so all students will fit into the expanded Pell School next school year with Music and Art classrooms as originally planned.  Due to COVID cost escalation, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation came forward with a grant to add a bus loop for student safety along with a new Welcome Center at Pell for our new families and more. Thank you van Beuren Foundation for your generosity!

The new Rogers High School Schematic Design had to be sent back to SLAM and Gilbane for a more cost-effective design and a smaller footprint.  The SBC and NPS are committed to the Educational Plan as decribed in the RIDE Stage II approval ensuring all students will graduate with academic and career (CTE) skills.  The graduation rate of those enrolled in CTE programs is 92-93% significantly higher than those not taking CTE classes. The design of the new Rogers will integrate academic, STEM, career, AP courses, art and more all into one new building which will be a huge benefit to both learning as well as culture and climate beyond just enrolling into CTE.  Many ask why CTE programs are so important: 1) they are hands-on so result-oriented, 2) students can use CTE skills for internships and jobs/careers before or after graduation, and 3) CTE skills help pay for college, provide workforce training and life skills as well.

The new, more cost-effective Schematic Design SLAM presented last week will have many “Add Alts” additional program spaces, athletic fields, materials/systems/design upgrades that can be “added” if and when we secure additional funding.  The COVID construction cost escalation has been a challenge to many home projects and we are working hard to navigate this COVID-cost issue at Rogers while ensuring no loss of programming or by jeopardizing the quality of the building.  The SBC, Newport School and City Administration are working hard to make residents proud of the new Rogers for both student success and comminuty use.

The new timeline for a Rogers Schematic Design is Monday, Dec 6, 5:30pm at NACTC there will be an update to the public and SBC of the Design then late Dec or early January a presentation of near final design to be submit to RIDE in early January 2022. 

Becky Bolan and Louisa Boatwright

Co-Chairs Newport SBC & NSC members

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