Over the last several years, elected officials, municipal and school administrators and community key stakeholders — along with the guidance of our project manager, have worked to come up with a fiscally responsible plan to address the $85 million dollars of deficiencies that have been identified in our school buildings — while also modernizing the way that we teach and learn in South Kingstown.

I have been a part of this project from the beginning. This project will lead us to a place where all of our buildings are warm, safe, and dry. It will bring us to a place of gaining operational efficiencies while simultaneously ensuring that we are adhering to our mission: which is to educate and engage all of our students in the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure readiness and success in college and career.

Throughout the process the building committee has come to determine, with feedback from the Rhode Island Department of Education and The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) the accrediting body for our district, that the Columbia Street location is not a viable option for renovation and that measures need to be taken in a timely manner to address the fact that our district has an inadequate and substandard high school facility. We have also learned that it would be possible to do what so many in our community have tried to accomplish for decades — to move the high school out of the in-town location to a true campus location abutting green space and the athletic fields on Curtis Corner. The plan includes adding onto and renovating the current Curtis Corner middle school and repurposing it as the new high school. The building will be right-sized for our projected enrollment. The CCHS will house grades 9-12 and will be our flagship building. A new gymnasium to support our amazing athletics program, a new auditorium to support our thriving music and theater programs, new career and technical spaces to support our nursing/EMT, carpentry/construction, studio arts and computer science pathways are a few highlights of the new building. It will be a place that our whole community can utilize and can all be proud of.

Broad Rock Middle School will be renovated and expanded in order to support grades 6-8 in a true middle school model.

The four elementary schools will undergo renovations to ensure that they support innovative and collaborative teaching and learning strategies. Pre-K through 5th grades will be housed in these buildings.

South Road School will become administrative offices.

We know that the jobs of the future and the needs of today’s children are changing. Therefore, as a district we need to adjust the way that education is delivered. Our hope is to build spaces that support this vision. This is an exciting once in a generation opportunity for South Kingstown. Time is of the essence, it is no longer a choice to fix our buildings if we want to maintain accreditation. Thank you for taking the time to learn about the project, I encourage you to go to SKSDBuild.org for accurate and up to date information. Please vote on May 4th!

Emily Cummiskey

South Kingstown

The author is the chair of the South Kingstown School Committee.

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