Warwick City Council approves $56M bond measure for school repairs

THE WARWICK CITY Council Monday approved a $56 million bond referendum to be placed on the November ballot to finance repairs to 17 elementary and middle schools, including Warwick Vets Memorial Middle School, pictured, in the city. / COURTESY WARWICK VETERANS MEMORIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
THE WARWICK CITY Council Monday approved a $56 million bond referendum to be placed on the November ballot to finance repairs to 17 elementary and middle schools, including Warwick Vets Memorial Middle School, pictured, in the city. / COURTESY WARWICK VETERANS MEMORIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL

WARWICK – Voters in the city will decide in November on a bond referendum to make needed repairs to area elementary and middle schools.

The Warwick City Council approved Monday to place a $56 million bond to be placed on the November to help fix several infrastructure issues at 17 area schools. Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon told PBN Thursday that repairs are earmarked for various schools’ HVAC and mechanical systems, new roofs, site work, electrical work, asbestos abatement and plumbing, and other repairs.

“This is about keeping our children safe [in the buildings], warm and dry, keeping everyone in a good working environment,” Solomon said. “And an environment that’s conducive to learning.”

If the bond passes, Winman Middle School will receive the most of all the schools at $12.5 million for repairs, Solomon said.

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Other schools that will be supported by the bond, if approved, and their costs are:

  • Holliman Elementary School, $5.7 million
  • Oakland Beach Elementary School, $4.2 million
  • Sherman Elementary School, $3.9 million
  • Warwick Neck Elementary School, $3.8 million
  • Scott Elementary School, $3.7 million
  • Park Elementary School, $3.4 million
  • Cedar Hill Elementary School, $3.2 million
  • Robertson Elementary School, $2.9 million
  • T. Wyman Elementary School, $2.8 million
  • Warwick Early Learning Center at John Brown Francis, $2.8 million
  • Norwood Elementary School, $2.7 million
  • Hoxsie Elementary School, $2.6 million
  • Greenwood Elementary School, $2.6 million
  • Warwick Veterans Memorial Middle School, $2 million
  • Drum Rock Elementary School, $1.6 million
  • Lippitt Elementary School, $1.3 million

Solomon also said a committee was formed consisting of individuals from private and public sectors to thoroughly vet what repairs were needed the most, and where.

“When they reached that $56 million number, that was a feasible number with great study and due diligence of all parties,” Solomon said. “I supported it. The council voted in favor of it and the school committee was in favor of it.”

Also discussed at Monday’s meeting, but not approved, was a possible $10 million bond to repair athletic fields. Solomon said additional review would be needed to know what the costs of these fields would be. Plus, Solomon said, based on his understanding, that any funds used for renovations to existing athletic fields are not reimbursable by the R.I. Department of Education per its guidelines. Only funds used to construct new fields at new locations can be reimbursed by RIDE.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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