How Providence plans to spend $20M for school repairs this summer. A ‘shortsighted’ budget cut.
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Happy Tuesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Biggest Little. I’m Dan McGowan and I think last night’s Home Run Derby might have saved baseball. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
It has now been two weeks since the devastating report on Providence schools was released.
While Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green may have the whole summer to contemplate reform plans for the state’s largest school district, the clock is ticking for Providence to complete construction projects while students are on summer vacation.
So what should students, parents and teachers expect when schools open September 3? A spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city will complete $20 million in long planned capital projects this summer, including:
• Roof replacements at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, Veazie Street Elementary School, Classical High School, Hope High School and the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.
• Fire safety upgrades at Frank Spaziano Elementary School, Vartan Gregorian and Hope High.
• HVAC improvements at Alan Shawn Feinstein Elementary School, Harry Kizirian Elementary School and Esek Hopkins Middle School.
• Security lighting at Central High School, Classical and the Providence Career and Technical Academy.
• Window film installation at 28 schools.
Keep in mind Providence officials believe their schools need nearly $400 million in repairs, but the city doesn’t have the time or the money to make it all happen in a single summer. Elorza has said improvements to all of the schools could take up to 10 years.
One thing to keep an eye on will be how creative both the city and state can be in expediting the upgrades. For example, North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi has offered to help Providence with swing space if they need to close a building. Some city officials may also approach various colleges about using available classrooms.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• Government watchdogs are saying Governor Gina Raimondo’s decision to eliminate the state’s first cabinet-level cybersecurity officer position was shortsighted. The Globe’s Ed Fitzpatrick explores the potential ramifications.
• Governor Raimondo’s first veto of 2019 was over a bill that would allow private individuals to sue their auto insurance companies for unfairly declaring a vehicle totaled following an accident. She said it would have made Rhode Island the first state in the country to enact such a law.
• Rhode Island Democratic Party executive director Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye is leaving his post for the same job in New Jersey. It’s unclear who will replace him.
• A couple has purchased the Harrisville farmhouse that inspired the 2013 horror film “The Conjuring.”
• Fun story: After 105 seasons, Camp Yawgoog – the second-oldest scout camp in the country – has welcomed its first girl campers.
WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• The Providence City Council meets tonight to give second passage to the city budget for the fiscal year that started July 1. Mayor Elorza is expected to quickly sign it into law.
• West Warwick is scheduled to hold its financial town meeting tonight and an all-day referendum on the town budget Thursday.
• Need something fun for the kids to do today? The Providence College men’s and women’s basketball teams will host the seventh annual Corliss Park Basketball Clinic from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
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