BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Just days before students head back to school, Barrington unveiled its brand new middle school during a community ribbon-cutting Monday.
State and local leaders at the event said the $68 million facility is a prime example of what Rhode Island’s schools could become.
“Now our teachers will be delivering the same world-class and state-of-the-art education in a building that is built to support such an endeavor,” Principal Andrew Anderson said.
The new facility replaces the decades-old middle school, offering a stadium seat theater, top-of-the-line security systems and class technology rivaling many college campuses.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said the new school will act as a hub not just for the students, but for the community.
“This is where we meet. This is where we come to vote. This is where we come together as a community to decide the future of the community,” said Reed.
Voters in Barrington approved a bond to cover most of the $68 million price tag.
State Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said the new school shows the town’s commitment to education.
“Barrington took the initiative before the moratorium to really understand the necessity to push the envelope,” she said.
The new school opens as the state faces a reckoning within its education system, specifically with Providence Public Schools. Last month, Johns Hopkins University released a scathing report on the physical and academic condition of the district’s schools.
“I have to say that it’s heartbreaking,” said Infante-Green when asked about Providence’s public schools. “We stand here in a state-of-the-art building when there are buildings that don’t have the bare necessities.”
The first day of school for Barrington is Sept. 3.
Eyewitness News will have in-depth Back-to-School coverage starting Monday, Sept. 2 on Eyewitness News This Morning.