School investments reveal their worth


As back to school season kicks off, it’s a good time to remember the forward thinking of residents throughout our coverage area who saw the need to invest in our local schools through bond referendums in the past couple election cycles.

While it is easy to pay lip service to the fact that kids deserve to be educated in modern, clean, efficient, and safe buildings, it is another thing for people to actually put their money where their mouth is. And yet, that is exactly what voters in Warwick, Cranston, and Johnston have done over the past few elections, approving hundreds of millions in total bond capital to help fix languishing schools and construct brand new ones.

In Warwick, students and faculty will be enjoying the fruits of the extensive labor that has gone into fixing up schools throughout the district over the summer. Our recent story chronicled the improvements at Sherman, Holliman, Hoxsie, Norwood, Park, Scott, Winman and the Career and Tech Center. This work is not always overly showy (HVAC and roofing improvements rarely are), but it contributes to the overall learning condition in these buildings and is absolutely essential.

Students in Cranston are set to step into a world of improvement too, with Eden Park and Garden City Elementary Schools providing good examples of those kinds of transformative changes that will last for many generations of students to come. Although Warwick and Johnston are experiencing some sticker shock regarding some of the most recently approved school projects, the point remains that this work is better off done than left for future generations to deal with.

Overseeing all of this are dedicated and hardworking school personnel, like Steve Gothberg in Warwick, who must organize and prioritize projects and keep track of countless projects ongoing simultaneously, while battling inflation and supply chain issues, all under the pressure of trying to get things done in a timely manner and fulfilling state deadlines for reimbursement. Construction directors and project managers like him deserve a big shout for seeing this work through for the betterment of our communities’ children.

And the overarching point of improving these schools has never been more important in a post-pandemic world. There is no substitute for in-person learning, and therefore it is of the utmost importance that we provide kids with a place to go learn that they are excited to inhabit each day during the school year.

These are the investments that truly make the most difference, and are the most worthwhile.

schools, investments, editorial


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