Advancing 10-Year Commitment to Invest up to $400 million in Providence School Facilities
July 29, 2020
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and the Providence City Council today announced a $140 million bond referendum that will advance the City’s 10-year commitment to invest up to $400 million in school infrastructure.
“We know that every investment in our youth is an investment in the future of our City,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We have a unique opportunity before us now to create the welcoming, dynamic and inspiring spaces our youth and families have advocated for years. That’s why in partnership with the Providence City Council, I am prioritizing this $140 million investment as another step towards building the innovative, 21st-century education system our community needs.”
The $140 million bonds will fund the five-year School Capital Plan for city schools. This plan was informed by a year-long All In: Our Learning Spaces community engagement process, led by experts at StudioJAED in late 2017, and builds upon historic investments in school infrastructure. Voters approved of a similar bond in 2018 to invest $160 million in Providence Public Schools. These investments, project details, and the status of these improvements can be found on the All In: Our School Facilities interactive map.
Council President Sabina Matos stated, “We need to do all we can to help our City’s students achieve their maximum potential. We need to ensure that their learning environment is one that is safe and conducive to learning, and we need to be able to provide the infrastructure to make sure that every classroom is accessible, has access to 21st Century technology, and will be a place that they can be proud of to say that this is my school. Together we can achieve that by working collaboratively with our partners at Providence Public Schools and with the Rhode Island Department of Education.”
The matter will go before the City Council on Friday, July 31, 2020, then will be sent to the Board of Canvassers and then the Secretary of State’s Office to be added to the November 3, 2020 ballot for consideration. Legislation must be approved by the General Assembly for these projects to be reimbursement eligible. H8118 was introduced in the House on July 23 and the introduction is pending in the Senate.