South Kingstown New High School Building Project

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Where can I go to learn more information about this project? How can I stay informed of developments?

The SBC is committed to a transparent planning and implementation process and welcomes community participation at all of our meetings. If possible, we encourage interested parties to attend our meetings in person, however there are virtual options and archived recordings/minutes for those that cannot. Please visit the Events tab of this website for a list of upcoming meetings and associated Agendas.

Additional Contact Options:

  • Questions, comments, and other inquiries can be sent to the committee via e-mail at
  • Written communications can be addressed to: South Kingstown Town Hall, 2nd Floor, Attn: School Building Committee, 180 High Street, Wakefield, Rhode Island 02879.
  • Sign up for project updates.

PLEASE NOTE: All e-mail, written, and other public is placed on the agenda at normal SBC meetings to ensure the committee is aware of community concerns and can discuss relevant topics. All communication will be formally accepted and placed on file.  Should the SBC decide to further direct staff, the project’s OPM, or the project’s consultant relative to the correspondence, they may do so at the meeting.

What’s the easiest way to stay informed about this project?

Please sign up for email updates through this link!

Or feel free to email us at

In addition, all SBC meetings are open to the public to ensure transparency during this process – meeting dates and times are available on this website, and on the RI Secretary of State’s website.


I have opinions I want heard, who should I talk to?

That’s great – we absolutely value your input!

To make sure we put you in contact with the right person, we encourage you to email us at Once received, the project team will reach out to schedule a discussion.

There are also a number of public engagement sessions planned if the project is approved by SK’s voters. These open, public meetings are a great place to discuss everything related to the project. The best way to find out about these meetings is to sign up for updates!

To register a formal communication, one that may be addressed at a School Building Committee meeting, please email



What is the South Kingstown School Building Committee (SBC)? Who is involved with this process?

The South Kingstown School Building Committee (SBC) is a locally appointed authority made up of members of the South Kingstown community, including Town leadership, stakeholders from the SK School Department, and community representatives with a professional background in architecture, engineering, and/or construction. The SBC is required to meet both the Town Charter and membership requirements of the Rhode Island Department of Education in order to qualify for state reimbursements.

The current SBC is made up of the following individuals.

Lucas Murray Deputy Town Manager Town Charter Representative of Town Council
Kate Macinanti (Chair) School Committee Member RIDE Regulations Representative of School Community
Brian Mahony SD Maintenance Director RIDE Regulations Local official responsible for building maintenance



James Manni



Town Manager



RIDE Regulations

Representative of the office or body authorized by law to construct school buildings in the municipality


Brian Silvia

Finance Director


RIDE Regulations

Local budget official or member of the local finance committee
Chip McGair SKHS Principal RIDE Regulations School Principal from the subject school*


David Palazzetti


Community Member


RIDE Regulations

Community Member with architectural, engineering, and/or construction experience
Robert Littlefield School Superintendent RIDE Regulations Superintendent of Schools


Danielle De Simone

ELA Coordinator of Instruction and Curriculum PK-12


RIDE Regulations

A member who has knowledge of the educational mission and function of the facility


* This project may include more than one “subject school.”  The appointed principal will work to receive input from other principals on other project sites.

What is the timeline for the South Kingstown new high school building project?

If the SK community votes to approve funding through the public referendum in the Spring of 2024, all construction will be required to be complete within 5 years of the signed Memorandum of Agreement with the Rhode Island Department of Education (expected December of 2023). Although extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis, it is the intent of this program to have our highest priority projects complete by that December 2028 deadline.

For the High School & Athletic Complex, design is forecast to take between 12-18 months, and construction between 24-30 months. Final project schedules are dependent on design and associated market conditions (material lead times, labor), but our new High School could be up and running for the start of the 2026/2027 school year.

What will happen to the existing school?

The current program calls for the existing school to be demolished.

Will the new facilities be "green"?

All new school facilities are required to be design and built to the standards outlined in the Northeast Collaborative for High Performing Schools (NE-CHPS). These standards were developed to promote energy efficiency operational performance and sustainable design, amongst other design elements. Additional criteria set forth in NE-CHPS concerns the reduction of waste, reduction of pollution, absence of environmental degradation, air quality improvement, and  the use of natural or environmentally sustainable materials.

How will we select an Architect/Engineering Firm?

Pursuant to RI General Law § 45-55-8.1, Municipal Design Contracts must be procured through a Qualification-Based Selection Process. 

This essentially states that Cities & Towns must only consider the proposing firms Qualifications, and not the cost for their services, when choosing a Designer.

The project will solicit proposals from interested firms and request that each firm provide:

  • Individual Staff Qualifications
  • Capability, Capacity, & Qualifications of the Firm
  • Work Plan
  • Project Approach/Methodology
  • References
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Political Contributions
  • Legal Proceedings
  • Financial Statements
  • Exceptions to the Proposed Contract
  • MBE/WBE/DBE Participation
  • Familial Relationship Affidavit
  • Certificate of Non-Collusion

Point values are assigned to each of the above categories, and are reviewed by the Selection Committee. Once the points have been tallied, the committee will then Shortlist firms to proceed to the interview phase of the procurement. 

Once a selection has been made with a Designer, the project will then enter into negotiations on price. If a price agreement cannot be reached with the first selected Designer, the project will then move on to the next highest ranked firm.


cost & Budget

Will this project be cheaper if we wait a few years?

It will not be cheaper to push this work to a later date. Here are the two main reasons why.


  • Incentives being offered by the Rhode Island Department of Education are set to sunset this summer. These incentives increase the Town’s reimbursement rate from 35% to over 50%. Once these incentives expire, the Town will revert to its base reimbursement rate of 35%.
  • Industry experts agree that construction costs will never revert to their pre-pandemic levels. Although there is evidence of the construction market stabilizing, the consensus is that the current pricing we are seeing is here to stay, and will in fact continue to increase in the years to come.

How are we protected against rising costs?

The project budget has included specific line items to protect against further inflation and/or price escalation. These ‘contingencies’ ensure that the complete scope of work can be completed within the total budget.

With that said, the SBC and its partners will continue to perform value management at every stage of the Stage III design process, looking for effencies and cost-saving opportunities to maximize value and finish under budget.



What is RIDE-SBA (Rhode Island Department of Education - School Building Authority)?

South Kingstown is executing the performance of this work in partnership with RIDE-SBA.  RIDE-SBA is a quasi-independent government agency that funds capital improvement projects in the State of Rhode Island’s public schools.RIDE-SBA’s mission is to “ensure that all approved projects provide high quality learning environments, conserve natural resources, consume less energy, are easier to maintain, and provide educationally appropriate school facilities.” In order for any project to recieve aid (reimbursement) from the State, RIDE-SBA must be included in all phases of the work, from design to close-out.

What is the Necessity of the Construction Application Process?

The Necessity of School Construction process is a multi-stage application that requires school districts to conduct thorough facility assessments toward the creation of an efficient and prudent masterplan.  Once reviewed and vetted, the School Building Authority will recommend projects for approval by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. Approved projects are eligible for State aid through one of three mechanisms: Housing Aid reimbursement, School Construction Bond pay-as-you-go funding, or SBA Capital Fund progress payments.

There are five stages to the necessity construction process:

Stage I -This stage is intended for the District to perform extensive research to identify school facility needs to include ranking those needs and identifying the relative costs to address them.

Stage II – Includes developing a plan for addressing the needs identified in the Stage I report.  This can be done in a number of ways so RIDE advises that the School Building Committee work with the community, interested parties and a design consultant to formulate alternatives.  The Stage II report is a comprehensive document submitted to the RIDE School Building Authority (SBA).

If/ When funding is secured through a Bond referendum the next stages would commence:

Stage III – This stage includes the advanced design and development of approved projects.  For South Kingstown this would include working with the Architectural/ Engineering firm, Owners Project manager, and Construction Manager to develop final construction plans for a New High School/Athletic Complex and have them reviewed and approved by the RIDE SBA team.

Stage IV – After construction is complete the Town will work with the RIDE SBA and RI Health and Building Educational Building Corporation (RIHBEC) to get final approvals for reimbursements through housing aid and associated bonuses.  This is when the state would start issuing payments to cover part of the bond based on the approvals outlined after the Stage II process.

Stage V – Beginning in FY 2019, Local Education Agencies (i.e. School Districts) annual facility maintenance expenditures must meet one of the following three requirements: a percentage of operating budget, a percentage of replacement value, or a minimum of $3 per square foot of building space, adjusted for inflation.  Moving forward the Town will work to properly maintain capital investments in accordance with State requirements.


In Person Design Team Interviews - March 4th

The Designer Selection Team, made up of 4 Members of the SBC, 1 Member of the Town Council, and 2 Community Members, has elected to move 3 Design Firms to the Interview Phase. 

The finalists are, in alphabetical order:

– JCJ Architecture w/ Saccoccio & Assocites

– Jonathan Levi & Associates w/ DLR Group

– Studio JAED w/ SLAM Collaborative

Interviews will take place on March 4th, with a selection being referred to the SBC for reivew and approval later that week.

6 Design Firms / Joint Ventures Submit Proposals for SKHS Replacement Project

After a comprehensive public solicitation, six incredibly qualified designer firms/joint ventures have submitted proposals to help design the new South Kingstown High School. Please click on the links below to visit the webpages for each of the primary firms:

Finegold Alexander Architects

JCJ Architecture w/ Saccoccio & Associates 

Jonathan Levi & Assoc. w/ DLR Group

Kaestle Boos Associates

Perkins Eastman

Studio JAED w/ SLAM Collaborative

Council Approves FULL $150M Stage II Application

On December 19th, the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously approved South Kingstown’s Necessity of Construction Application – Stage II.

Of almost equal importantance, the Council approved the full amount sought by the Town of South Kingstown – $150,000,000, and a maximum reimbusement rate of 55% if all applicable bonuses are met.

School Department Funds Planning / Design Prior to Bond Vote

On Tuesday Nov. 28, the School Committee unanimously approved a Not to Exceed amount of $350,000 to fund additional planning and concept design of the proposed new South Kingstown High School.

This strategic move allows the School Department to assume the financial risk of this early work. This decision will keep the project on an aggressive schedule, mitigating the downstream effects of inflation.


School Building Committee Meeting

January 18, 2024 – 4:00 PM