Community gathers for new EPHS groundbreaking ceremony

Event marks the start of construction, which is expected to begin promptly

By Mike Rego
Posted 6/5/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — A groundbreaking ceremony for the new, $189.5 million East Providence High School took place Wednesday, June 6, on the grounds of the current site off Pawtucket Avenue where the …

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Community gathers for new EPHS groundbreaking ceremony

Event marks the start of construction, which is expected to begin promptly

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — A groundbreaking ceremony for the new, $189.5 million East Providence High School took place Wednesday, June 6, on the grounds of the current site off Pawtucket Avenue where the future, 304,000-square-foot, four-story facility will also be constructed.

MC’d by Superintendent Kathryn Crowley, a large, boisterous crowd of residents, school personnel and students as well as elected officials from the state and city gathered for the traditional shovels-in-ground event.

EPHS junior Megan Amore opened the ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem. The EPHS Chorus, under the direction of Maryann Lasorsa, sang the school’s alma mater, originally composed by Kathy Cauley Davis a 1963 graduate, and the EPHS Band, directed by Marisa Silva, provided background music for the event.

Superintendent Crowley called the turnout of those gathered “overwhelming.” While making note of those elected and appointed officials who played a key role in getting the project through to the construction phase, the superintendent also made special reference to sixth grade pupils from both the Riverside and Martin Middle Schools, who in 2025, will become the first class to graduate from the new EPHS, which is expected to be ready for use in time for the beginning of classes in the fall of 2021.

Superintendent Crowley called the groundbreaking ceremony a “critical milestone” in the effort to “build a bright future” for the community and as a new “state-of-the-art, comprehensive East Providence High School” is constructed. She said the existing 67-year-old structure built in the 20th Century will be replaced with a modern school building designed “to meet educational needs of this century.”

The superintendent called the new building “a community high school,” one which will afford students, staff and residents access to athletic and fitness facilities as well as a public cafe to be operated by the culinary students in the Career and Technical Center. Of how the planned new stadium, baseball and softball fields and tennis courts will be new perceived, she said the “athletic facilities will be the envy of high schools throughout the region.”

Noting the resounding approval of the $189.5 million bond voters approved in November of 2018, Superintendent Crowley said, “We would not be here today without the tremendous support of the residents of East Providence.”

She added, “The people of this city stepped up and declared their commitment to public education.”

The superintendent, herself, was feted by the likes of Governor Gina Raimondo, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea for seeing the new EPHS project come to fruition. Mr. Magaziner, offering high praise, referred to Superintendent Crowley as a “rock star” to describe her efforts.

The state officials were on hand not only to support the effort in city, but also to acknowledge the backing by voters around Rhode Island last fall for a $250 million bond initiative to be used on school construction. The superintendent noted East Providence could receive significant funding from the state for the new EPHS construction, up to as much as 75 percent of approximately $135 million of the project.

Actual start to site work, the literal shovels in ground, on the new East Providence High School is set to begin shortly after classes end for the 2018-19 term on Thursday, June 13.

— East Providence Post and eastbayri.com staff photographer Rich Dionne shot the accompanying gallery of photos.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.