Rhode Island School Building Task Force

The Rhode Island School Building Task Force, chaired by General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Education Commissioner Ken Wagner, has released a plan to make a once-in-a-generation investment to public schools throughout the state.

To encourage school districts to embark on more school repair and construction projects, the Task Force has recommended a system of targeted increases to the state's share of school construction projects, prioritizing projects to improve the safety, 21st century learning environments and operational efficiency of schools.

The Task Force also recommends issuing $500 million of state General Obligation bonds for public school construction and repair over the next 10 years, with the first bonds to be proposed to voters in a referendum in 2018. This level of bonding is less than half of the state's total capacity to issue bonds over the next decade, according to the state's Debt Affordability study completed earlier this year.

The plan was created in response to the R.I. Department of Education's 2017 State of Rhode Island Schoolhouses report, which was the culmination of a year-long assessment commissioned by the School Building Authority and completed by Jacobs Engineering. That report identified more than $2.2 billion in deficiencies in the state’s 306 public schools, more than $600 million of which are immediate “warm, safe, and dry” needs. The report also found that the state’s current level of support is causing the cost of repairing these deficiencies to grow by an average of $70 million per year.

In September 2017, Governor Raimondo signed an executive order creating the Rhode Island School Building Task Force, which considered policy and financial models with a focus on how to meet the needs outlined in the Schoolhouses report.

Other members of the Task Force include:

  • DOA Director Michael DiBiase, School Building Authority Advisory Board
  • Chairwoman Hanna Gallo, on behalf of the Senate
  • Chairman Marvin Abney, on behalf of the House of Representatives
  • Jamestown Town Administrator Andy Nota, on behalf of the League of Cities and Towns
  • Joseph Dewhirst, Chairman, Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corporation
  • Michael Sabitoni, President, RI Building and Construction Trades Council and Business Manager, Laborers Local 271
  • Frank Flynn, President, Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals
  • Larry Purtill, President, National Education Association of Rhode Island and Member, Council of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Kinzel Thomas, Providence School Board, on behalf of the RI Association of School Committees
  • Barry Ricci, Chariho Superintendent, on behalf of the RI Superintendent's Association
  • Patricia Flanagan, M.D., Pediatrician-in-Chief at Hasbro Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • Neil Steinberg, Rhode Island Foundation President
  • John Hazen White, Jr., Chairman and Owner, Taco Comfort Solutions
  • Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
  • David Cournoyer, Director of Facilities and Transportation, Johnston Public Schools
  • Jhonny Leyva, President of Heroica Construction
  • Jo Eva Gaines, Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Task Force meetings were held throughout the autumn of 2017 and were open to the public. Information on meeting dates, agendas, and presentations are below. Additional information on the Task Force can be found here.

 

Task Force Meeting Agendas, Presentations & Minutes

Friday, September 29, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Alger Hall, Rhode Island College

Agenda
Summary of Principles and Goals
Rhode Island Department of Education Presentation
Jacob's Engineeering Presentation
Overcrowded Schools - Utilizations
Minutes - 9.29.17

Press Release: Rhode Island School Building Task Force to Address $2.2 Billion School Infrastructure Crisis

Monday, October 23, 2017          
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.               
DOA Conference Room A, One Capitol Hill, Providence

Agenda
Principles and Goals - Final
MA School Building Authority Presentation
Rhode Island Treasury Presentation
Minutes - 10.23.17

Monday, October 30, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
DOA Conference Room A, One Capitol Hill, Providence

Agenda
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank Presentation
Rhode Island Heath & Educational Building Corp. Presentation
Minutes - 10.30.17

Tuesday, November 14, 2017     
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
DOA Conference Room B & C, One Capitol Hill, Providence

Agenda
Rhode Island Department of Education Presentation - RISBA & MASBA
Timeline Comparison - RISBA & MASBA
Rhode Island Department of Education Presentation - Housing Incentive Structure
Minutes - 11.14.17


Thursday, December 7, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
DOA Conference Room A, One Capitol Hill, Providence

Agenda
Presentation - Hypothetical School Level Funding Cost Savings from New Proposal
Draft Report of the Rhode Island School Building Task Force
Presentation - Recommendations of the Rhode Island School Building Task Force
Minutes - 12.7.17


Wednesday, December 13, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
East Providence High School (Library) - 2000 Pawtucket Ave, East Providence, RI 02914

Agenda
Press Release: Task Force Recommends Major Investment In School Buildings Throughout Rhode Island
Recommendations of the Rhode Island School Building Task Force (Final)

Public Forums

Thursday, October 12, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Rogers High School, 15 Wickham Rd, Newport, RI

The meeting was streamed live on Facebook. You can watch the video here.

If you missed this session but would like to share your feedback with the Task force, please e-mail FixMySchool@ride.ri.gov.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
5:30 p.m.
Johnston Senior High School, 345 Cherry Hill Rd, Johnston, RI

The meeting was streamed live on Facebook. You can watch the video here.

If you missed this session but would like to share your feedback with the Task force, please e-mail FixMySchool@ride.ri.gov.

Monday, November 27, 2017
2:30 p.m.
Listening session with faculty and staff at
John F. Deering Middle School
2 Webster Knight Dr, West Warwick, RI 02893

This meeting was streamed live on Facebook. You can watch the video here.


If you missed this session but would like to share your feedback with the Task force, please e-mail FixMySchool@ride.ri.gov.

Thursday, December 13, 2017
5:00 p.m.
Tour of East Providence High School
2000 Pawtucket Ave., East Providence, RI 02914

The tour was streamed live on Facebook. You can watch the video here.