Schools identify top needs for $40 million bond

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If a $40 million bond for school improvements passes successfully through the Rhode Island legislature and is then voted upon favorably by the residents of Warwick, it will result in the ability to bring all 12 necessary fire alarm systems up to code, all necessary roof repairs for schools district-wide and 14 ADA-compliant playgrounds to be modified out of existing playgrounds or built new at each of the city’s elementary schools.

The full scope of the school improvements, including an additional $5.2 million that will be funded through the school’s capital reserve plan (a budget account specifically for school repairs that is also eligible for state reimbursement), will be revealed to the public at the Feb. 13 meeting of the Warwick School Committee at Warwick Veterans Junior High School (executive session starts at 6 p.m.).

“If we don’t fix this problem, it’s not going to go away. It’s going to compound,” said Superintendent Philip Thornton on Wednesday during a breakdown of the updated improvement plan, which was crafted following the Jan. 30 meeting of the Warwick City Council where the original $85 million plan was whittled down. “So we have to keep advocating to fix the schools we have for our teachers and students.”

The improvements scheduled would be phased in over the course of five years – beginning with concrete repairs to the front steps at Winman and ADA compliance work at John Brown Francis funded through the capital reserve budget this summer – and then proceeding with more rigorous work through the summer of 2023.

By breaking the originally proposed bond effectively in half, it means the school department had to prioritize the most necessary needs, and save for later the things like exterior pavement repairs and improving energy capabilities of windows.

Broken down by school, the improvements include approximately $10.2 million at Pilgrim, $5.2 million at Toll Gate, $1.2 million at Vets and $998K at Winman. Elementary school improvements range in amount between $650K at Park School and $2.6 million at Lippitt.

School finance director Anthony Ferrucci broke down the biggest projects that will occur during the summers of 2019-2023, which include three HVAC systems (Toll Gate, Lippitt and half of Pilgrim’s system in 2020 and the other half of Pilgrim in 2021); 11 roofs (with Toll Gate the only one occurring in 2019); 18 ADA compliance projects (John Brown Francis happening this summer to prepare it for its Sept. 2018 transition to a Pre-K school); and outfitting 14 playgrounds to be ADA-compliant.

The ADA playgrounds is the only significant change from the original plan, as they were moved upwards in priority to be addressed. These improvements will cost approximately $2.1 million.

“Not only is it a legal liability, it’s the right thing to do,” Thornton said of the playground improvements. “All kids should be able to access playgrounds and this is long overdue.”

The work that is to be conducted this summer must be cautiously approached and must be achievable without the use of outside architects and engineering firms, as the school department will not know whether or not they will be receiving bond funding until November’s mid-term elections, when the bond initiative will appear on the ballot for voters to approve or shoot down.

However, the school department will know by this March whether or not they have been approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) for reimbursement. This will enable them to plan the summer 2018 work – which is in total projected to cost around $200K – to be budgeted through the capital reserve plan when they prepare their FY19 budget this summer.

Ferrucci said that a majority of the $5.2 million in capital reserve plan money would go towards replacing electrical components district-wide. He stressed that they would be careful to plan ahead when performing the electrical work to ensure that they can seamlessly integrate new HVAC systems that will eventually have to be installed at 11 other schools.

“We’ll be cognizant of the potential impact of the future mechanicals going in when we create the design,” he said. I can’t afford to do the whole thing, but we’ll stage it so that it will be adaptable.”

The 54-page report outlines every repair, down to the dollar, which is planned as part of the $40 million bond. It is broken down by year, major projects and on a school-by-school, year-by-year basis. Ferrucci said that they will be posting each project on the school department’s website as it begins, as it progresses and the total dollar amount it costed when it has finished.

Ferrucci encouraged people to show up to the Feb. 13 meeting to hear the breakdown. If the school committee approves the plan, the next step will be to wait on RIDE for their selection of projects to receive reimbursement in March.

Comments

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CrickeeRaven

Before the losing 2016 mayoral candidate repeats his false allegations of the school department not being accountable [as he has repeatedly done on this site], readers should review the following articles and demand that he show accountability for his own campaign activity, which includes failure to report how he paid for a political advertisement and issuing campaign claims that are objectively and provably false:

https://warwickpost.com/gop-chair-files-election-board-complaint-against-corrente-for-failing-to-report-ad-hq-spending/

https://warwickpost.com/digit-spinner-richard-corrente-fudges-numbers/

Here are just three of the many instances where the fake "mayor" falsely accused the school department of not being accountable and demanded an "independent audit" when such audits are already conducted every year:

http://warwickonline.com/stories/council-stays-85m-bond-until-jan-30,131215?#comments

http://warwickonline.com/stories/falling-deeper-and-deeper-down-the-rabbit-hole,131160?#comments

http://warwickonline.com/stories/overthinking-sometimes-worse-than-not-thinking-at-all,131375?#comments

Happy 270 days until tens of thousands of honest, taxpaying Warwick voters decisively reject his candidacy again.

Thursday, February 8
Kammy

Congratulations on beating him to the first comment! I would say that never happens but seeing as his name as been in the news I am not surprised he is laying low. It is rather hard to continue to press your false statements when you have been proven wrong by so many people and solid facts. It is a refreshing change!

As for the funds and accountability, it is clear to see that the WSC has been working hard on mapping out their priorities and keeping everyone up-to-date on their plans. Unless of course Corrente still feels we need an independent audit on the 54 page report. I wouldn't put it past him.

Thursday, February 8
Thecaptain

GOP Chair Files Election Board Complaint Against Corrente for Failing to Report Ad, HQ Spending

by Rob Borkowski on February 6, 2018 in News to You

[CREDIT: Correnteformayor.com] Mayoral Candidate Richard Corrente

WARWICK, RI — Warwick’s Republican City Committee has filed a complaint against Richard Corrente with the Rhode Island Board of Elections Campaign Finance Division, asking for an investigation into the perpetually campaigning politician’s unreported campaign spending on a full-page Pennysaver ad.

Anthony Corrente (no relation to Richard) said the Pennysaver advertisement ran Dec. 17, but that no record of the ad appears in Correte’s latest quarter campaign finance report. A check of Corrente’s campaign finance reports of all of 2017 shows spending on the ad has not been recorded, Warwick Post reported Jan. 31.

Anthony Corrente is also asking the Board of Elections to investigate Richard Corrente’s spending regarding the latter’s failure reporting any expenses related to operating his campaign headquarters located at 1609 Warwick Ave., also related to the Pennysaver ad.

“In this advertisement, Corrente also states that people can visit him at “Corrente for Mayor headquarters, 1609 Warwick Ave., (next to Dave’s),” but “does not report any expenses” or “any contributions or personal loans” that would cover rent, utilities, or other costs.

No office costs listed for 2017; past rent went to payer of tax bills on Richard Corrente’s residence

A review of Richard Corrente’s campaign finance reports for 2017 found no mention of any payments related to the office at 1609 Warwick Ave. In fact, among the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter filings, the candidate only entered a $100 loan to the campaign in income and $44 to print new checks in expenses for the entire year.

In a review of earlier campaign finance reports, Warwick Post found that Richard Corrente paid $4,000 for the campaign office on Feb. 17, 2016 to Clay Shackleton, listed on state business filings as President of G W Realty, which owns Gateway Plaza. The check was paid to Shackleton personally, as opposed to to G W Realty.

Clayton A. Shackleton is also listed as paying the tax bills on 177 Grand View Ave. in 2014 and 2015, totaling nearly $13,700:

City tax records show that Clay Shackleton paid the delinquent tax bills on Richard Corrente’s residence in 2014 and 2015; Corrente paid Shackleton $4,000 for his campaign office in 2016. [Screenshots from Warwick Tax Assessor website]

City tax records show payments of $6,910.33 in 2014 by Clayton A. Shackleton for Richard Corrente’s residence.

City tax records show payments of $6,762.19 in 2015 by Clayton A. Shackleton for Richard Corrente’s residence.

Richard Corrente also filed to change the address of the campaign office to its location in Hoxsie from 177 Grand View Ave. on Jan. 19, 2017, and later put up signs on the storefront for his business, Bankers Mortgage.

Thursday, February 8
CrickeeRaven

Hello again, Kammy, and thank you.

As you rightly point out, the school department [both administrators and the school committee] has been transparent in providing information on school improvements that the bonds would fund. Anyone claiming otherwise is intentionally trying to mislead people, and/or, in the case of the fake "mayor," seeking political gain.

Here's hoping that his silence continues, though I am equally realistic in thinking that it is a false hope; as soon as he can figure out how to manipulate the facts in his characteristically delusional way, the fake "mayor" will again prove his inability to restrain himself from commenting on this site and making a humiliating spectacle of himself.

Thursday, February 8
Justanidiot

Thecaptain.

Fake news.

Thursday, February 8
richardcorrente

Talk to your Council person. I have spoken to every one of them. Ask them how the $25,000,000 bond of 2006 went. I have. Ask them if there are any safeguards in this present plan to make the money spent more efficiently this time. I have. The 2006 bond cost the taxpayers a fortune and the money raised was controlled by the Mayor and the School Committee. Over the next ten years there was a constant debate over the way the money was to be spent and the taxpayers ended up paying much more than was necessary, while, at the same time, the money was the subject of a constant political debate.

Almost ten years ago Massachusetts passed a law that said any public project over $3,000,000 MUST have a independent third party overseeing all payments of the project. Mass. calls it a "clerk-of-the-works". Warwick needs to copy this good idea. $40 million is way too much money to be mismanaged.

Happy Valentines everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers mayor

Thursday, February 8
Justanidiot

eyes tried to talks to my coucelperson but somebody whose doesnt live in my district was monopoizing dere time. yak yak yak hes got his point in but eyes went home. thanks

Thursday, February 8
Justanidiot

eyes tried to talks to my coucelperson but somebody whose doesnt live in my district was monopoizing dere time. yak yak yak hes got his point in but eyes went home. thanks

Thursday, February 8
CrickeeRaven

As predicted, the fake "mayor" once again makes statements that do not hold up to the barest of scrutiny.

- "Ask them how the $25,000,000 bond of 2006 went."

This article explains very clearly "how the $25 million bond went," specifically: "Since [2006], said Mayor Scott Avedisian, the city has released the bond funding for school building repairs five times. Most recently, said School Committee member Eugene Nadeau, those funds were released in three $3.1 million installments in 2012, 2013, and 2014 to pay for fire code upgrades required by the state in the wake of the 2003 Station Nightclub Fire."

http://warwickpost.com/city-schools-to-split-debt-service-for-5-2m-bond-release/

The fake "mayor" is ignoring the fact that $21 million was spent over a decade after the bonds were first approved, with $4 million left unspent until the school committee presented a detailed plan in public of how to spend it: https://warwickpost.com/warwick-city-council-oks-release-of-4-million-in-school-improvement-bonds/

He is also ignoring the fact that the city council taking three hours to review the $4 million request last March before ultimately approving it: https://warwickpost.com/city-council-postpones-4-million-school-bond-three-hour-review/

The fake "mayor" continues his habit of refusing to do any research before making easily-disproven statements and making a humiliating spectacle of himself.

Other readers will also notice that he does not say one word about the recent reports of his campaign finance activities and false statements. For someone so intent on pushing conspiracy theories about "mismanagement," he should focus on cleaning up his own behavior.

Thursday, February 8
Thecaptain

This is so monotonous. Do you notice how Corrente has spoken to everyone, done all the research, but to this date cannot post one piece of data on any subject. His humiliation has no boundaries. For clarification purposes from someone who has been involved in countless municipal projects in Massachusetts, the "CLERK OF THE WORKS" is hired by the municipality and works for the municipality as a record keeper providing oversight of the GC (General Contractor) or CM (Construction Manager). They are not hired by the independent third party testing agency.

Incidentally, I have been on numerous projects where the clerk of the works has zero construction background and is a political appointee, typically a retired guy who comes and goes as he pleases, and shuffles a bit of paperwork. I have also seen the opposite where the clerk of the works is a former licensed superintendent with enormous construction experience, as an example, the West Bridge Water High School (which came in about $3 million under budget).

Thursday, February 8
CrickeeRaven

It continues to astound me, Thecaptain, how the fake "mayor" can write so many words that turn out to mean nothing.

Try as he might, the "digit spinner" will not get away with pushing his false statements, and is only compounding his already numerous problems with his stubbornness in continuing to make comments on this website that are then thoroughly debunked.

Thursday, February 8
Kammy

Richard Corrente:

"When it was all over I asked one of the City Council members "What is stopping the School Committee from spending this $40 million dollars ANY way they want?" He/she replied "Nothing!"

Name that person that you referred to in your comment on February 1, 2018. The article was entitled, Council cuts school bond request to $40M. (http://warwickonline.com/stories/council-cuts-school-bond-request-to-40m,131390?)

Name the names of the council members that you have spoken to and on what dates so that we can verify the truth of your statements.

Friday, February 9
CrickeeRaven

Nearly 12 hours have passed, Kammy, and the fake "mayor" has yet to reply. This proves his complete refusal to be accountable for his own statements and what one can only assume is behavior based on spite.

He has convinced himself that his word is enough for people to vote for him, and that voters are too stupid to research his claims. He refuses to admit and correct his many, many lies, and continues to demand that other people prove his statements ("Talk to your council person.").

The more that people learn about the fake "mayor," the less they will support him; it is yet another failure of his thst he refuses to acknowledge this reality.

We can be certain that he will continue to fail to restrain himself from more humiliating behavior.

Friday, February 9
DannyHall82

Richard,

I'm not sure who you asked but only 3 Councilmembers are still active from 2006. Voters approved the 2006 bond only to be held up by the current Mayor. I wasn't even involved with politics in 2006 and could remember that.

Saturday, February 10
Thecaptain

Here is the Ustream link to the Special meeting of the School Committee with the city council.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/112128775

The fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness always sits in the first seat on the left side of the podium.

You will note from the video that the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness, was not present at the meeting. So I wonder when he "spoke to every member of the council"? You will also note that the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness, has never taken the microphone at a council meeting and addressed any particular issue with any detail.

Just more fact being pointed out as to his complete and total incompetence, lies, and failure to understand the simplest of financial discussions. That should be no surprise to anyone. After all, the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness, is the mortgage broker who entered into a predatory mortgage, failed to pay it, lost his house to tax lean and foreclosure, squatted at 177 Grand View Ave for in excess of 2 years, and beat the city out of in excess of $27,000 in property taxes, and not to forget about the $500.81 utility bill that he also beat us out of.

He's a credible guy.

Saturday, February 10
CrickeeRaven

DannyHall82, if I understand your comment correctly, you're acknowledging that the city exercised oversight on bonds in the past — exactly the opposite of what the "digit spinner" fake "mayor" is claiming.

Mind you, I'm not disputing your characterization of that oversight, just noting that it happened.

It's almost as if he has no understanding of the city's history and simply makes up whatever pops into his delusional mind — no, wait, that's EXACTLY the case.

Saturday, February 10
Thecaptain

FYI everyone,

Yet another of the fake mayor's, (Mayor Dumbness) illegal political signs has been removed from the traffic control box at Buttonwoods Ave and West Shore Rd. That makes 10 total in the trash. Looking forward to removing more trash.

Saturday, February 10
blorjr

How much of this money will be siphoned off for the teachers union.

Saturday, February 10
bendover

PLEASE, you intelligent citizens, stop feeding the troll...He has an over inflated ego regarding his self importance and IQ, while having the common sense of a crayon. If you really want to bring this charade to a screeching halt, call out the "power-brokers and leadership" for sitting on their hands and allowing this clown car to continue to ply the Warwick streets. Majority "leaders "i in both chambers, the "DUMMYcrat party chairman, and the cadre of malingerers both at the local and State level and they allow this embarrassment to continue? Work against their re-election, find a primary opponent for them and by all means expose their voting record...

Here is one example...All this over-priced beef, the longest serving Mayor in the second largest city and none of you pitched Warwick as a potential alternative to Pawtucket for the Red Sox? Poltroons and sissies...Frankly, why have none of you sought a letter in indemnification signed by this ownership group with their combined net worth of over $1B guaranteeing the State or city will be made whole in the event of ANY default? A personal guarantee which can't be discharged by Chapter 11...Protect the taxpayers and end this debate...You have far more urgent business to attend, let alone let a clown to continue to run around calling himself the "taxpayers mayor"...You should all go into hiding.

Sunday, February 11
CrickeeRaven

bendover: Go find something else to read if you're so unhappy seeing voters of a city confront a legitimately terrible candidate.

Sunday, February 11
bendover

WOW...Gee, creeky, I didn't realize you were the self appointed moderator and arbiter for the thought police...I appreciate your time exposing the lies of the buffoon, it must be quite time consuming...The scary part remains, the number of people who voted for this charlatan. Point out the lies, but understand at some point, you may have the exact opposite effect by creating some sympathy for this guy, playing the RI victim-hood card...The fact that the real political power-brokers have said and done nothing should tell you they are happy with the current administration. The names in a the personnel supplement over the last 20+ years are a big tell for maintaining the status quo, IMHO...Don't make this guy a "victim"...That's my only concern...

Wednesday, February 14
CrickeeRaven

bendover:

Your concern is noted, though I give readers far more credit than to believe that they would see the fake "mayor" as a victim when all that's been done is his lies have been disproven with objective fact.

Wednesday, February 14