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RIDE has a prescribed process for Towns and Local Education Agencies (LEA's) to follow in order to qualify for "housing aid" (i.e. reimbursement for school improvements) and enhanced reimbursement incentives passed by voters in 2018. This process is called the Necessity of School Construction and consists of five (5) distinct phases. In order to qualify for incentives the Town must:
The Town will submit the Stage I report by the September 15, 2022 deadline. The SBC will then be working aggressively to evaluate various alternatives for school facility improvements in consultation with the architectural and engineering firm Studio JAED.
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According to the Stage I needs report there is over $155 Million in deferred school building maintenance. The State of Rhode Island currently has generous reimbursement incentives for Cities and Town's that choose to undertake renovation or reconstruction projects in the next few years. The Town's current minimum State Share reimbursement rate of $0.35/ $1.00 of project cost could increase to $0.52/ $1.00 depending what type of improvements are planned. You can learn more about the State reimbursement bonuses here. The potential to offset a substantial amount of local tax dollars for school infrastructure improvements has resulted in a concerted effort by the Town and School District to come together and explore options to bring our facilities into the 21st century.