Gov.: Barrington a leader with school project

Officials celebrate ground-breaking for new middle school

By Josh Bickford
Posted 5/7/18

Hundreds of people, including all the sixth-graders in town, gathered Monday morning, May 7, to celebrate the construction of a new Barrington Middle School.

Officials invited the sixth grade …

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Gov.: Barrington a leader with school project

Officials celebrate ground-breaking for new middle school

Posted

Hundreds of people, including all the sixth-graders in town, gathered Monday morning, May 7, to celebrate the construction of a new Barrington Middle School.

Officials invited the sixth grade class to the special ground-breaking event because they will be the first eighth-graders to have classes inside the new building once it is completed. Work began on the new building in late February and officials plan to open the new Barrington Middle School to students at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo attended the event and spoke to the large group of attendees. She praised Barrington school officials for building a blueprint for the rest of the state to follow when it comes to school construction projects.

"You guys are leading the pack," she said. 

Gov. Raimondo also mentioned the stellar academic success and forward-thinking that is taking place at Barrington schools. 

Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner spoke to the crowd and specifically addressed the sixth-graders. He said the community of Barrington has committed itself to bringing the new school to town because it believes in the importance of education.

"Your community is doing this because they believe in you," he said. "We are counting on you."

Rep. Joy Hearn congratulated the officials who played key roles in prioritizing the middle school construction project, and to the taxpayers who stepped up to support the project. Sen. Cindy Coyne took time to thank all the people involved in the new school. 

Rep. Jason Knight said the construction project made him proud to live in Barrington. He told the students that the commitment to bring a new school to town was done so the younger generation can reach even higher than their parents. He also reminded the students that most politics happen on the local level, and the construction of the new school was a great example of politics in action. 

Barrington School Superintendent Michael Messore said a school building is not just bricks and mortar, but is actually built by the teachers and administrators, by the students in the classrooms and by the taxpayers who support the school department.

Barrington Middle School Principal Dr. Andrew Anderson shared a similar message during the event: "In Barrington, education is the community."

Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll said there were many people — too many to list, in fact — who helped bring this project to life. He praised the foresight by local leaders who began planning for the new school in the midst of a tough economic recession and during a school construction moratorium, and credited the school facilities team for battling through the current middle school's deficiencies. 

"This whole building is a kind of masterpiece of duct tape and baling wire," he said. 

Mr. Carroll took time to recognize the taxpayers who voted to support the $68.4 million construction bond — some of whom are struggling to afford the tax increases. The council president then mentioned the need to alter "Article 9," which currently fails to reward school construction projects that have already broken ground.

School building committee co-chairman Patrick Guida and Barrington School Committee Chairwoman Kate Brody acknowledged people who were involved with and who supported the project, and Erika Bulk, the assistant principal at the middle school, thanked the students who helped design the new Makerspace labs that will be featured in the new school.

After the speeches concluded, officials went outside, put on hard-hats and hoisted shovels of dirt as part of the ground-breaking. 

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