State education council approves funding for projects to improve Burrillville schools


BURRILLVILLE – The Burillville School District was approved for a partial state reimbursement on a number of projects to improve school buildings in town over the next several years, part of a $1 billion investment in educational facilities across Rhode Island.

The Council on Elementary and Secondary Education approved the new school construction projects last week, marking the single largest approval of its kind in Rhode Island K-12 history, according to state officials. According to a release from the Rhode Island Department of Education, the 48 approved projects will refine and enhance learning environments for almost 25,000 students around the state. 

In Burrillville, approved projects will qualify for reimbursement at a municipal rate of about 50 percent, according to Supt. Michael Sollitto. An approved Stage II application submitted by the district includes HVAC replacement and a new gymnasium floor at Steere Farm Elementary School, roof replacement at Callahan Elementary School, window replacement across several schools and several other building upgrades across all five Burrillville school buildings, Sollitto said.

“Our next step is to work with the town to fund these projects, knowing that once work is completed, the town will receive about 50 percent reimbursement,” said Sollitto. 

RIDE noted that the Burrillville projects will address, “health and safety repairs to various aspects of school buildings including HVAC, roof, gym floor and window replacements as well as ADA-compliant parking,” benefitting around 900 students.  

“The Council’s approval of these school construction projects sets the tone for prioritizing students’ year-round learning, while ensuring they are in state-of-the-art facilities,” said Gov. Dan McKee in the release. “I commend their approval of these investments in Rhode Island students and future generations and look forward to seeing the positive impact of these new projects statewide.”

Additional school districts to receive project approval in the recent vote included Bristol-Warren; Coventry; Cumberland; Jamestown; Lincoln; Pawtucket; Providence; South Kingstown; Tiverton; and Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College. The vote follows prior approvals of $255 million for 17 projects across four local education agencies in May 2023, for a grand total of $1.3 billion for 104 projects across Rhode Island this calendar year.

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