BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — State officials gathered in Barrington Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art middle school.
The new Barrington Middle School is slated to open in Fall 2019. It will replace the current middle school which was built in 1958 and has several structural inefficiencies.
During March of last year, the school was closed for several days after a leak in the roof caused damage to the building. Town residents approved a referendum that allowed officials to build a new middle school as opposed to making repairs to the old building.
School officials said the new facility will better support a 21st-century education environment.
“The facility emerging from these grounds would not only lend itself to creativity, curiosity and substantial experiences for our students, it will in its design help inspire those experiences by maximizing the learning environment,” Principal of Barrington Middle School Dr. Andrew Anderson said.
State Treasurer Seth Magaziner said the physical space has an impact on teaching and learning.
“There is a lot of research that shows that when you hold everything else constant, better buildings mean better test scores, better performance, stronger attendance, stronger health outcomes, lower asthma rates, there are all kinds of benefits to having a high-quality school building,” Magaziner said.
Governor Gina Raimondo attended the ceremony and thanked the Barrington community for investing in education, which is something she has been pushing to expand at the state level.
“The treasurer and I are now leading a statewide effort to make a once in a generation billion dollar statewide investment to rebuild schools in every single city and town, but you guys are leading the pack, so thank you,” Raimondo said.
Officials told Eyewitness News the old school buildings are being torn down to make room for athletic fields.