Design for new Barrington Middle School sent for review

Tax cap issue likely to surface at Jan. 9 council meeting

EastBayRI.com ·

Barrington school officials recently submitted a final schematic design for the new middle school to the Rhode Island Department of Education for review.

Student enrollment projected to increase in Barrington.

According to a press release from the school district, the schematic design "addresses the school’s needs for academic and enrichment programs, including spaces for instruction, student support, athletics, arts and music, and more."

Once the RIDE review is complete, the plans will go before the Barrington School Committee and the building committee.

"Approval of the schematic design would move the project closer to going out to bid for construction," stated the press release. 

If the design is approved, the project would then move into the "design development" phase, which would produce more detailed specifications for construction. 

According to the press release, school officials and members of the building committee are continuing to reduce costs associated with the project and exploring maximizing efficiencies. Barrington voters have approved a bond that is not to exceed $68.4 million, although school officials have said they hope to further reduce that figure. The project is eligible for reimbursement from RIDE — the reimbursement totals approximately $16 million. 

At a meeting on Jan. 9, town council members are expected to vote on whether the town should exceed the 4 percent tax cap; it is expected the bond and other budget increases will require an increase of greater than 4 percent. And if council members approve that measure, the tax cap issue will be placed before residents at a special financial town meeting in March. 

"The project is scheduled to be put out to bid in early summer 2017," stated the press release, "with construction estimated to begin in fall 2017. If the project remains on schedule, the school will open in August 2019, followed by demolition of the existing facility."

The building committee meets on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. in the middle school library.

For more information on the project, visit www.bmsproject.org

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