Portsmouth voters have approved Question 1, the school facilities bond referendum.
Question 1 on the ballot asked Portsmouth residents to approve or reject a bond referendum for $21.44 million to finance health and safety improvements in school buildings.
Election officials noted that additional ballots remain to be counted, but the total number of additional ballots is less than the current margin. According to Jacqueline S. Schulz, Portsmouth Registrar of Voters, the Portsmouth Board of Canvassers is scheduled to meet at 3 pm on Wednesday, November 10 to certify the election results.
Portsmouth’s application for State reimbursement for these projects, estimated at 40% of project costs, is currently under review by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). If the RIDE School Building Authority approves the proposal, it will be reviewed by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, based on the recommendation of the Commissioner of Education, for final approval. A decision from State officials is expected by next month.
“The School Committee and I are grateful to everyone in Portsmouth who took the time to cast a vote on this important referendum to finance critical investments in our school facilities,” said Superintendent Tom Kenworthy. “If the State approves our application for reimbursement, which we are hopeful will occur next month, these projects will enhance health and safety in all four school buildings – including improved accessibility, indoor air quality, traffic safety, and more – to protect our students and staff.”
Read more about the school facilities bond here.