To the Editor,
The Warwick Beacon of Feb. 16 reported that mayor Picozzi is seeking to delay the construction of the high schools. This time is needed to make sure that there are sufficient …
To the Editor,
The Warwick Beacon of Feb. 16 reported that mayor Picozzi is seeking to delay the construction of the high schools. This time is needed to make sure that there are sufficient funds to make them “state of the art” and have construction that is good enough to withstand the test of time.
For example, when Pilgrim was built it did not meet these construction standards. Consequently, its only future is demolition. Lockwood was built many years ago. It is still standing and has been repurposed for apartments.
RIDE is not willing to give us more time. It is forcing us to abide by the original timeline. This means that construction must begin by December 31.
What is RIDE?
A search of the internet reveals that RIDE is the state agency that is responsible for overseeing all the public education in the state of Rhode Island. It is headed by Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green. She has the daunting responsibility of overseeing 7 departments with a total staff of more than 115 employees.
Within one of these departments is the School Building Authority. It has only 4 staff members. It is unclear how much responsibility this department has when decisions are made on when and how much Warwick is entitled to receive from state funds for construction of the new high schools.
Now is the time for Mayor Picozzi, Stephen McAllister and David Testa to join together in the planning of the new high schools and to make sure that there are sufficient funds to make them state of the art. Also, RIDE provides us with all the funds that they promised.
(NOTE: It may be that there will only be sufficient funds for one new school and an upgrade of the second. If I remember correctly, this is what the school system originally wanted to do and RIDE overruled them.)
I look forward to seeing the things that will be accomplished with these three very special individuals working as a team.
Warwick School Psychologist – retired
(Editor’s Note: In an interview Tuesday, Mayor Picozzi said that city and school officials met with RIDE representatives and he is hopeful of extending the deadlines for both the start and completion of school construction and of the acceleration of state reimbursements that would significantly reduce the impact of borrowing on the city. The changes would require state legislative approvals.)
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