Editorial: New EPHS will be funded

Posted 9/7/19

There’s an unfortunate reality about the entirety of the journalism business, but a specific downside for us here in the print discipline. Research has shown a significant amount of “readers,” …

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Editorial: New EPHS will be funded


There’s an unfortunate reality about the entirety of the journalism business, but a specific downside for us here in the print discipline. Research has shown a significant amount of “readers,” and we use that term loosely in this instance, only look at the headlines of stories. They don’t often read all of them, usually just skimming through the words, missing the whole picture as it were.

In recent weeks here at The Post there was a case in point. On a story about the then status of plans for the new East Providence High School, which have and will continue to be tweaked until needing to meet a state mandated deadline in December of this year, the banner read, “New EPHS remains over budget, but is expected to meet mark…Project manager says he’s confident building will come in at approved $189.5 million figure.”

As most of you know, voters in 2018 approved the appropriation of $189.5 million for the four-story new high school. Some 54.5 percent of about two-thirds of that cost was a certainty to be reimbursed by the state before lots were cast. Also last November, voters from around the state backed the Department of Education seeking $250 million in bonds to further assist with school construction projects. With that passed, and upon the East Providence School District along with its construction principles meeting other measures, the state will back another 20 percent of costs. In total, RIDE shall provide 74.5 percent reimbursement on approximately $130 million of the new EPHS price tag.

It was prior to last year’s ballot and remains to this day a tremendous deal for the residents of the city. East Providence will construct a state-of-the-art high school at a fraction of the actual value. Yes, we pay taxes into the coffers of the state, too, like other municipalities, but a nice chunk of that money will be realized in the new high school.

Some residents, included among them elected officials, remain skeptical. They think we’re either not going to see all the money the state said it would provide or the design of the new building will be compromised. But as was written in the aforementioned story and said on the record by our state legislators, RIDE “shall” — as in must, has to or any other synonym — comply with the referendum.

It is enshrined in state law that East Providence and other districts which qualify will get the proper reimbursement. No Facebook post or conspiracy theory, no amount of conjecture or doubt should outweigh what are the facts of the matter.

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.