PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Public School Department celebrated the opening of a new learning center Tuesday that’s named after a former city councilor.
The Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center, “marks a significant step forward in Providence’s commitment to providing a high-quality education,” according to the district.
The new learning center will serve as a district-wide swing space for students and staff displaced by work in their own school buildings.
“The Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center is a testament to our commitment to their future and our commitment to learning 365 days a year and improving student outcomes,” Gov. Dan McKee said.
The learning center takes the place of the former Windmill Street Elementary School. The blighted school building sat vacant for more than a decade before former city councilor Nicholas Narducci pushed for it to be renovated.
Narducci, who attended Windmill Street School when it was open, described watching the transformation of the vacant building into a state-of-the-art learning center as humbling.
“This building has had a lasting impact on our entire family,” Narducci said. “My mother worked here in the cafeteria. My father joked that she worked for free because she helped buy lunches for kids in need.”
“In that spirit, Providence students today have a need to be educated in schools that are safe and up-to-date with all the latest advancements we can offer,” he continued. “I’m incredibly proud that the investment was made in this school, which will provide our kids with a solid footing on their educational journey.”
The learning center is one of three new school buildings the district is planning on opening this year.