By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – An estimated 75 percent of Rhode Island public school buildings are in good or generally good condition according to a “Public Schoolhouse Assessment FY 2013” report released Friday by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist.
The report includes data and information on each of the state’s 276 public school buildings. It also gives recommendations on financing, savings, and efficiencies.
“It is essential that every school building in Rhode Island must be a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning,” Chafee said in a statement. “While we face a formidable challenge because of the aging infrastructure of many of our school buildings, our communities can also take advantage of resources and ideas that will save taxpayer dollars in the long run.”
According to the report, 68 Rhode Island school buildings are in good condition and 137 are in generally good condition. There are 39 schools rated in ‘fair to poor’ condition and 14 schools in poor condition.
Seventy percent of Rhode Island’s schools were built between 1928 and 1978.
“At RIDE, we are committed to ensuring that the State of Rhode Island all local school departments invest taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently,” Gist said in a statement.
Gist said the department has achieved standards it set for school construction regulations of in quality, safety, and efficiency, which led to better buildings and taxpayer savings through ensuring projects save energy, conserve natural resources, and are easy to maintain.
RIDE estimates that projects approved since 2007 have saved school districts about $90 million.
The entire report is available on RIDE’s website at www.ride.ri.gov.