Sen. Sam Bell and Rep. David Morales attended a March 7 community meeting on Mount Pleasant High where PPSD and RIDE officials announced that they are considering closure of the Mount Pleasant High building but ruled out full closure of the school itself. Representative Morales and Senator Bell released the following statement:
“We are grateful to Commissioner Infante-Green, Superintendent Montañez, and Deputy Superintendent Scott for attending last night’s Ward Five Community Meeting, and we thank Councilwoman Ryan for hosting the meeting. We also thank all community members who attended to hear about this important issue and share their views, and we thank everyone who attended our February meeting, where we listened to community input on this important issue.
We appreciate PPSD for publicly sharing that they are actively considering closing the Mount Pleasant High building and developing a new school building, citing the estimated repair costs. Most importantly, we thank them for their commitment to avoid full closure of the school itself and a continued consideration to remodel the existing building.
A critical commitment PPSD officials made was to have multiple community meetings discussing potential options in May and June before any official decision is reached as to whether the existing school building is to be remodeled or an entirely new school building is built. It is our expectation that these meetings will be in person, and active efforts will be made to intentionally engage students, parents, teachers, staff and neighbors.
Potential closure of the Mount Pleasant High building is a major decision for the whole Mount Pleasant community. Many questions remain, including what it would look like to build a new school on the site, whether the new school would be of the same size as the existing school, whether any students or teachers would be displaced and what would happen to the existing building. We would like to clarify that we would not support any displacement of students or staff, a potential reuse of the building as an Achievement First High School or a reduction in critical neighborhood greenspace. We believe robust community engagement is vital for a decision of this magnitude. We encourage all community members to share their voices as this process unfolds.
Finally, we salute the students, teachers, parents, staff, school leadership and Community Advisory Board members at Mount Pleasant for their years of hard work under very difficult conditions.”
Senator Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence) and Representative Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence) are available for questions at (401)680-0725 or email@example.com (Senator Bell) and (401)480-1322 or firstname.lastname@example.org (Representative Morales).