Two of the biggest projects scheduled to begin this year are construction of the new Lake Highlands Middle School and renovations to the future Forest Meadow Middle School as part of the district’s middle school transformation plan.
Using a phased construction approach, the transformation plan calls for facility adjustments at junior high campuses to make room for sixth graders, district officials said.
The bond package, which was approved by RISD voters in May, included two separate propositions. Proposition A totaled $694 million for infrastructure and safety projects, construction and renovation plans, and projects to support teachers and students. Proposition B totaled $56 million to cover updates to district technology devices.
The Forest Meadow project is expected to go out for bid in early 2022, followed by the Lake Highlands project, district staff said. The first part of the Forest Meadow project is expected to go before the board in March to allow construction to begin in April. The Lake Highlands project is slated to be brought before the board in April, and construction could begin in May, according to staff.
The goal of the middle school transformation project is to have construction completed at all campuses by the 2030-31 school year, according to a district presentation on the bond.
Bond funds are also paying for an ongoing expansion and renovation project at JJ Pearce High School. James Watson, RISD chief executive director of operations, said the district’s budget for the entire Pearce High School construction project is $103.76 million for its three phases.
The first phase includes upgrades to existing systems and infrastructure as well as the construction of building additions to increase campus capacity, Watson said.
The additions will include a two-story building at the northwest corner of the existing building and a one-story addition on the south side of the school, he said.
Work is slated to be finished in August, according to Watson. The project’s next phase is slated to include work on existing classroom and school spaces as well as upgrades to systems and infrastructure. District officials said pricing for that phase is expected to go before the board in April.