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Schools' Renovation Project Needs Financing

Asbestos testing has been paused while the project is finalized.

Administrators can't finalize a project to renovate East Providence school buildings until a buyer is found to purchase a $9 million bond previously approved by voters. 

"We are working to find a lender and the School District is in the process of finalizing the project time line to determine the financing needs," wrote Christy Healey, a state employee who works with the budget commission.

According to Mary King, finance director for the school district, project coordinators began work on the project a month ago. Members of the East Providence Fire Department have been assessing fire safety and code issues. But until the $9 million is secured, the rest of the plans can't be firmed up as construction bids can't be awarded, she said.

"We're still working it out," she said. "Project managers know they can only go to a certain point."

However, she said a May meeting with RIHEBC is on the books to help find a buyer for the bonds.

According to King,  has been paused. The Department of Health has been informed of the project's progression.

Editor's note: It was previously reported that officials believed a loan was secured by RIBEC in February. RIHEBC is the agency that issued the bonds. A buyer is still needed to purchase those bonds.

Govstench April 24, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Oh, so we are "pausing" the tests for asbestos? Let's risk the health of the staff and students further - real smart. DOH should be insisting on this test, which should have occurred during the "winter vacation" break. This is intolerable!
Govstench April 24, 2012 at 07:37 PM
An October inspection revealed that East Providence High School is violating the Rhode Island Health Department's Rules and Regulations for Asbestos Control, according to a letter written by Robert Vanderslice of the department. Tiles riddled with asbestos cannot continue to be patched up with emergency repairs, reads the letter delivered to the school department. Tests to detect airborne asbestos will be conducted over winter break. "If air testing results show unsafe conditions, the school will need to remain closed until repairs are made and air testing results pass clearance standards," reads the letter. My question is "where are the tests?" You can't postpone tests like this without risking the health of staff and students. Sounds like misplaced priorities.
Lobster Fest April 24, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Isn't this why the building inspector was fired? This is why Mr. Q is suing the city and he is going to win! With all the money that this has cost the city they could have fixed some of the issues. Instead, the lawyers will walk away with tons of money and the city's school will still be unsafe. If the city owned properties were held to the same standards of the private businesses in this community they would all be closed down. Schools....No, City Hall.....No, We could just go down the line. Sad! Were did Townie Pride go?
RCI April 25, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Yes that is why the building inspector was fired. At least someone was looking out for the safety of the kids and the staff at the High School. I can tell you that i have been iin contact with the Heath Department and i have been told that they need to clean up the Asbestos. The school department and the city need to start caring about the these kids and how it is going to affect them and the family that is left behind if anyone of these students gets cancer. I am all to familliar as to the devistation that this horriable cancer brings onto a family. someone needs to step up and fix this problem the right way and i don't mean just slap on another patch. i think the public need to know more about what is going on it's been over 3 years since this whole thing has started and no one seems to want to take the resposability to get things done. I understnd that the money that the police department got recently ($60 million) is going to them, but don't you think that they could give something to help the students and staff enter a safe building to be in everyday. I know my child comes home sick from school alot with bad headaches and this is uncalled for. PLEASE lets do the right thing.
Govstench April 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM
This will affect the staff and some of these students later in life. They are stalling until the end of the June. The school should be shut down in June until the asbestos is gone! The Police money must be used for Police issues per the court settlement. If the police try to shift it to other things, they may have to give it back. It's so stupid.
Abigail Crocker (Editor) April 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Editor's note: It was previously reported that officials believed a loan was secured by RIBEC in February. RIHEBC is the agency that issued the bonds. A buyer is still needed to purchase those bonds.
Sharon Rivers April 25, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I think that the city should petition the Department of Justice to use the interest on the money the police department is to receive to fix the schools infrastructure. In the meantime the school should be shut-down and not reopened until the asbestos problem is remediated. It is scary that the DOH isn't being more aggressive in forcing the school committee and the city to find some solutions now!!!
RCI April 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
your right they should. i couldn't even imagine what whould happen if the Department of Justic said NO!!!!. not for nothing but at least the city and the police department could ask the question at least the citizens would know that they are trying everything they can to help. I have talked to the DOH on this matter a few times and they say the more people that complain then better it is. i can tell you that OSHA can't do anything unless an employee of the School Department files a complaint.
deb brown April 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I completely agree with you my son has asthma and since he started going to EPHS he has been sicker that usual and this effects these childrens grades who are constintly ill & out sick
RCI April 25, 2012 at 09:09 PM
your right Deb. my son has asthma but has not had an attack since he was in the 4th grade. A month ago i got a call from the school nurse saying that he was haveing chest pains and could not breath. So we spent the day in the doctors and now he is back on his inhailer and taking medication just so he can go to school and not be sick. my son is also allergic to mold so he has been getting worse since starting at EP. I hope that the right thing gets done.

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