New Construction

Rhode Island High School Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Facility

Officials gathered on Friday, June 17, to celebrate a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Rogers High School in Newport, R.I. The school’s existing facility opened in 1957 and was “in the worst shape” in comparison to more than 300 schools around the state, according to local news. Funding for the new construction is coming from a $98 million bond from the Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corporation.

Local news reports that the new facility will stand three stories and feature STEM labs, media design labs, a cosmetology center and a culinary center, among other amenities. The school will cover a total of about 166,875 square feet for a cost between $108.2 million and $108.9 million.

Newport voters approved a $106.33-million bond in 2020 to build the new facility, but the project has seen numerous redesigns and budget cuts related to skyrocketing inflation rates. The district partnered with architecture firm SLAM Collaborative Inc. for the building’s design.

“When you hold everything else constant, the condition of a school facility is directly tied to everything from attendance to asthma rates, to reading levels and test scores,” said Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner at the groundbreaking ceremony. Magaziner led the state’s department of education in a 2017 assessment of all 306 public schools in Rhode Island. “[In our 2017 report], Rogers High School held the dubious distinction of being the worst-rated facility of all 306, so this is a day we have been waiting for for a long time.”

The district is also partnering with Downes Construction Co. for the facility’s construction. The project is scheduled for completion in time for the 2024–25 academic year.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].