With less than a month until the start of school, Warwick Superintendent Phillip Thornton said the $3.25 million in repairs at Warwick Veterans Junior High School and Pilgrim High School will be completed by the first day of class.
On Tuesday, Thornton led a tour inside the two schools, which have been under construction since June.
When seventh and eighth graders walk through the doors of Vets on August 29 for the first day of school, they will see a new entryway, foyer, auditorium, and gymnasium.
“They’ll see a similar school, but some dramatic changes in the common areas,” Thornton said. “It’s really exciting to see.”
Thornton said the changes to Vets and Pilgrim were needed following the school district consolidating from three high schools and middle schools to two each. He pointed out that the student population in the city has dropped by more than 50 percent since 1972.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian added that the closing of schools will free up money for new technology, programing and after school programs.
“I think this is a great new beginning for the Warwick School Department and a good beginning for the city all over again,” Avedisian said. “A lot of the things that we’ve talked about for the last 15 years, we are finally delivering on.”
Along with Vets, Pilgrim High School got major repairs to its auditorium, gymnasiums, cafeteria, and football field.
The renovations were paid in part by a $5 million bond passed by the city council, along with the savings from the consolidating of the school district.
Thornton also said he wants to update all of the district’s schools and is looking to put as much as an $80 million bond in front of voters in 2017.
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