WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s a big project. And a month from now, it all needs to be ready for students, top to bottom.
Tuesday afternoon, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and school superintendent Philip Thornton took a walking tour of Warwick Veterans Middle School and Pilgrim High School to see the renovation progress at each.
Warwick Vets, as it’s known, had to be converted from a high school to a middle school, and Pilgrim had to be expanded to accommodate more students, in a huge school consolidation plan that’s been in the works since last fall. The adjustments all stemmed from declining enrollment, and a need to save the district money in the long run.
“Back in the early 70s, Warwick had around 19,000 students and this past year we had around 9,000 students so over time, there’s been a need to really consolidate the schools,” said Thornton.
“If you get rid of some of the buildings that really aren’t in good shape we can put more money into technology, more money into programming, more money into after school programs,” Avedisian added.
The renovations include improved entrances, bathrooms, and some classrooms, as well as a new auditorium in each, with seats, floors, curtains, stages, lighting and audio equipment being replaced, and resurfacing of the running tracks at each school. Pilgrim’s cafeteria and an annex building will get remodeling. The $3.25 million project also includes new floors for Winman Junior High.
The renovations began at the end of June and have remained on schedule. Both schools are expected to be finished by the beginning fo the academic year.