MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — People around Rhode Island will be voting next week on whether their city or town should borrow money to fund various school construction projects.
All across Middletown, there are signs posted in support and opposition of a $190 million bond on the Nov. 7 ballot.
If voters approve the measure, the district will build a new facility for grades 6 through 12 on the fields next to Gaudet Middle School. The middle and high schools will be separate, but the buildings will be connected.
Once that’s finished, Gaudet would be demolished and replaced with athletic fields.
Additionally, the existing high school will be renovated to house grades 2 through 5, along with school administration and the facilities department.
Forest Avenue Elementary School would be refurbished for pre-K, kindergarten and first grade, while Aquidneck Elementary School will be decommissioned and made available as a community center.
The current administration buildings would go to the town and may be used for affordable housing.
School officials believe the project will not only enhance education in the town, but also save millions of dollars in the long run. School Committee Chair Theresa Spengler said the town would potentially receive up to 55% reimbursement from the state.
“If we do not have this bond passed, the price tag is only going to go up, and our buildings are 50 to 60+ years old,” Spengler added.