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EDITORIAL: Necessity of New High School Remains Clear, A Perspective from an EPHS Student

NOTE: Max Brandle is our School Affairs Contributor and a Senior at East Providence High School 

East Providence High School has been standing since the Eisenhower Administration. Since it opened its doors in 1952, it has generated thousands upon thousands of citizens who have contributed to our community, and our nation. It has employed countless teachers who possessed a complete devotion to professionalism. The city is always grateful to what has remained the cornerstone of our community for more than half a century. As the ancient maxim goes, “He who opens a school door closes a prison door.”


On March 5th the city council approved the new school bond in a 5-0 vote. The choice of finalizing this bond will now be up to the voters this November. As of early estimate, the new school would cost between $115 to $120 million. Renovating it would cost almost as much, and would only kick the can further down the road. The final cost is now placed at $189 million, with at-least 54% state reimbursement and potential for up-front money from Governor’s bond proposal. This deal will not exist next year, with other districts sweeping in and taking the state money available, which is why the debate has become the heart of East Providence politics. At the end of the day, the necessity for a new school remains clear as day.

A tour in East Providence High School exhibits an alarming eye sore. Boilers that can fail at any moment. Leaking ceilings. Classroom heaters function to their own volition. Old lockers becoming irrevocably jammed with personal belongings are ripped from their hinges. Window shades appear and disappear at will. Basement Pillars ready to collapse under their own weight. Add all of this on top of classrooms that are ridiculously undersized, and you have a school that would cost as much to repair as it would to build a new one.

Students and Teachers interviewed unanimously agree that they do not wish to carry out their job under these conditions. They also stressed the importance that, in the likely event of a new facility, the core of this issue also be addressed. If a new school is built, we must ensure that the school is taken care of by maintenance to keep the building in exceptional condition, to prevent this issue from being inherited by a future generation.

When pushing this proposal through the mill of objection, the only issue arises in the possibility of hurting community members in or near poverty. Assuming property values rise, property taxes would subsequently rise and that could trigger higher rents. However homeowners would obviously benefit through the increase in equity.

As previously said, the positives far outweigh the negatives in this proposal. While maintenance strategies must change, this new school would be a success for the City of East Providence.