PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s going to be a busy morning in Providence and across the state as students start heading back to school.

Not only is it a new school year, but the Providence school district is opening three completely redone buildings for students to learn this year.

On Tuesday, the district celebrated the opening of the new Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center. This completely renovated space was once the Windmill Street School, which was vacant for more than a decade.

Now it will function as a swing space while buildings across the district are remodeled or reconstructed. This year, Pleasant View Elementary students and staff will be there.

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This is all part of the district’s goal to have 50% of area schools be new or like-new for students.

“I am so happy to bring our students and our staff to hands-on and exciting learning spaces that they greatly deserve. They deserve this. Our students and our teachers all deserve a building like this,” Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez said.

The remodeled Spaziano and D’Abate elementary schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday.

Aside from new school buildings, the district has also extended the school day by 30 minutes in an effort to recover from learning loss due to the pandemic.

Elementary school students will now receive 6 hours and 45 minutes of daily instruction, while middle and high school students will have 7 hours and 15 minutes each day. This will add up to an additional 15 days’ worth of instruction.

“We know it’s gonna take us a long time, we see it with our students. It’s going to take at least three to five years but I think that it’s really important that we understand that, that time needs to be made up,” R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said.

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Providence is the first district in the state to use COVID relief funds to extend school days, according to Infane-Green, with the projected fiscal impact of the extended time being just shy of $25 million.

Infante-Green said this also allows teachers to be paid more for the extra time.