WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The Warwick City Council overwhelmingly voted to issue a $350 million bond that would fund the construction of two new high schools.
The 8-1 decision comes after voters approved the bond last year for the new buildings, which would replace Toll Gate and Pilgrim high schools.
City councilors raised concerns over prices rising due to inflation, but an independent report released last month revealed the buildings would cost $50 million less than originally predicted.
The Rhode Island Department of Education is slated to reimburse the city for 55% of the total cost, meaning if the bond is approved, one of the high schools would be free.
Since the voters approved $350 million for the project, that is what construction will be capped at. If it ends up costing more, then the district will have to make engineering cuts.
“We worked really hard going out to the public and explaining why we need new high schools. Our high schools are failing. We need new heating systems, new windows, everything,” Superintendent Lynn Dambruch told 12 News last month.
Dambruch hopes the addition of new high schools will also bring students and athletes back to Warwick. She believes the poor state of the schools and athletic fields have led some to enroll at other schools.