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10/4/2021 Legislation authorizing Central Falls to construct new schools signed into law
STATE HOUSE – Governor Dan McKee, joined by General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera, Senator Jonathon Acosta, Representative Joshua J. Giraldo and members of the Central Falls school community, ceremonially signed legislation today that authorizes the City of Central Falls to build and repair schools throughout the city.
“Central Falls students deserve better – and they need better to learn effectively. Fortunately, this legislation will begin the process of providing future generations of Central Falls students with state-of-the-art schools to call their own,” said Governor McKee. “I want to recognize and thank the bill sponsors, who are great advocates for improving the quality of life in Central Falls.”
The legislation (2021-H 6408A2021-S 0951aa) authorizes the City of Central Falls to issue bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness in an amount not to exceed $5.76 million to finance the construction, renovation, improvement, alteration, repair, furnishing and equipping of schools and school facilities in the city.
Rep. James N. McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls), who co-sponsored the legislation and whose district houses Central Falls High School, said, “The high school in Central Falls is very old and it’s in pretty rough shape. It’s served its purpose, but the time has come to replace it to ensure the well-being of the city’s students.”

“This legislation is an absolutely vital chapter in the Central Falls comeback story,” said Representative Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls). “School buildings in the city are in dire need of repair and renovation. The ability of students to effectively learn in those facilities has been seriously compromised, and it has had a negative impact on the health and welfare of the city’s children.”
“In Rhode Island, when communities build schools, they generally float a bond for the total amount, then the state reimburses the community for most of the funding,” said Senator Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket). “This legislation will allow Central Falls to take out the bond for the amount it is ultimately responsible for paying, and have the state assure the bondholders and developers that they will be paying the remaining amount. Moving the state’s reimbursement from the back end to the front end helps make this project a reality.”
“When I visited Central Falls High School as co-chair of the School Building Task Force in 2017, a part of the roof had collapsed and the gas in the science lab did not work,” said General Treasurer Magaziner. “Since then, our statewide school construction program has allocated more than $1.4 billion to replace or renovate 176 school buildings, and I am thrilled that a new Central Falls High School will be next. Every child in every community in Rhode Island deserves to go to a great school that will prepare them to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
“Many of our students face challenges that impact their lives daily, from living in poverty, to inadequate housing, to health care hurdles – the school building they spend every day in should never be one of those challenges,” said Mayor Rivera. “I’m so proud our Central Falls legislators – Rep. Giraldo and Sen. Acosta – along with Governor McKee, Treasurer Magaziner, and the General Assembly all recognize a modern school building with excellent teachers can elevate our Central Falls students and their futures, and they are worth investing in! This is a powerful opportunity that will improve the lives of our students and quality of life in our city for decades to come.” 
The ceremonial bill signing took place at Central Falls High School, which was built in 1927.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903