BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The new $68 million Barrington Middle School, set to open for students in less than a month, signals a new era of what’s possible for schools in Rhode Island.
Built on the old athletic grounds, the town’s school superintendent and other officials showed off the new facility to Eyewitness News on Friday.
It has three floors, a state-of-the-art theater for student assemblies and performances, and video projectors that turn into interactive touch screens in nearly every classroom.
Barrington Superintendent Michael Messore said the most impressive parts may be what you can’t easily see: security measures.
There are video surveillance cameras lining the halls, but also windows that are near-bulletproof and double-locked entry doors. Those doors are even tied to an electronic lockdown system that can bring the school to a halt in an instant.
“Not just safe as far as security purposes, but we looked at ventilation systems, air, light, just the environment in general,” Messore said.
Voters approved the new school in Nov. 2017 and the $68 million price tag is covered by a state bond. So far, it’s on time and under budget, according to Messore.
“This wouldn’t have taken place without the support of the community,” he added.
Part of the old middle school was torn down Friday. That building was more than 50 years old, and its space will now be used for athletic facilities as well as a new parking lot.
School starts Sept. 3.