How Did We Get Here?

The Newport School Committee formed an Ad Hoc committee in April 2018. The committee was charged with:

  • Look at the needs for the next five or more years for Newport Schools

  • Evaluate options

  • Develop criteria

  • Explore alternatives

Dr. Joseph da Silva, Ph.D., NCARB, REFP, (School Construction Coordinator / Architectural Design Reviewers for RIDE) provided the following guidance to the Ad Hoc committee:

  • Newport needs to provide a 5-10 year master plan of  of facility needs

  • The educational programs must meet 21st century standards and show Community and City collaboration.

  • The Proposal will NOT advance unless this following can be shown:

  • A five year plan for all existing facilities, including Pell and Thompson

  • Doing the work to be eligible for a minimum 35% reimbursement with the potential for another 17.5% in incentives (reimbursement is determined by the State)

  • Sq footage required is 190 sf per student, with an additional 225 sf per students in technical program

Ad Hoc Recommendations for Rogers High School

Option A: Renovate RHS and keep students in place while renovating.

  • Cost estimate – could exceed $85 million and could be as high as $167 million depending upon findings. These can be estimated but we won’t know what they are until renovation begins. Renovations often provide surprises once walls and ceilings come down. Not fiscally responsible.

  • Will take 2.5 – 3 years with shifting of students

Option B: Build a new building, estimated would need ~ 40 acres to accommodate playing fields, parking, etc. Sites considered were:

  • Naval Hospital area: only 12 acres; potential environmental issues

  • Newport Pell Bridge realignment area: disconnected by a major roadway; potential environmental issues. Newport does not own this land and the State of RI is under no obligation to sell or donate it to the city.

  • Former Newport Grand site: not owned by city; would be a sizable capital investment above and beyond the building of the school; potential environmental issues

  • Existing RHS site: Cost estimate currently 101 million for new building at existing site

Option C – Regionalization

  • Requires buy-in from Middletown and/or Portsmouth

  • Middletown and Portsmouth currently sending students to Rogers for our technical program

  • Considered basing the technical program in Newport and the academic program in Middletown, but RIDE did not support that option

  • Portsmouth currently applying for RIDE reimbursement to build their own new middle school

  • After multiple meetings in 2019,  neither Middletown nor Portsmouth were interested in pursuing this option further

  • See the FAQ for media coverage about failed regionalization efforts.

Final Recommendation: Build a new high school on current site of Rogers High School

  • City owns the land, no additional capital costs

  • Students will remain at Rogers while new school is being built

  • New school will take approximately 1 year to design and 2 years to complete

  • New building will meet RIDE’s criteria including but not limited to educational programs. Facilities must meet 21st century standards

  • Room for parking and playing fields

  • No additional bussing costs

  • Most fiscally responsible choice, as neither Middletown nor Portsmouth supported regionalization.