SUPERMAN BUILDING DEAL IS A SUPER BAD BAILOUT Recently, Governor Dan McKee and other politicians announced a plan to redevelop the “Superman” building in downtown Providence into primarily an apartment complex with 285 units. The apartment complex will include 57 units for “affordable housing.” The overall project will cost over $220 million. To pay for this project, taxpayers will need to spend about $65 million. Rhode Island taxpayers will spend $26 million. Providence taxpayers will spend $15 million. Taxpayers at the federal level will spend $24 million. High Rock Development the owner of the “Superman” building bought the property for $33.2 million in 2008. The property is currently assessed at $14.2 million. The Rhode Island Republican Party released the following statement: “What a waste of taxpayer money. Taxpayers are spending about four and half times more on a building than it is actually worth. In total, taxpayers will spend $65 million for 285 apartments of which 57 of them will be for affordable housing units. Therefore, taxpayers are spending about $1.1 million per affordable housing apartment. This is an incredibly poor use of taxpayer money. By comparison, Governor McKee has proposed spending $90 million in federal funds to create and maintain 1,500 affordable housing units, or $60,000 per affordable housing unit. Even more absurd is the fact that the City of Providence is planning to spend $15 million to bail out the Superman building. Meanwhile, Providence leaders are at the State House begging for permission to borrow $515 million in the hopes of bailing out their own pension fund. Why are we wasting so much taxpayer money on the Superman building? Is it to bail out a real estate developer who made a bad decision? Is it because some politicians think wasting millions in taxpayer money on a dilapidated building will help them get reelected? Regardless of the real reason, the taxpayers will be stuck paying for the tallest, most expensive government-subsidized apartment complex in Rhode Island history. The Superman building was once a symbol of Rhode Island’s private sector economic prowess. Now it will become a symbol of a wasteful government bailout.”
Mayor Elorza, Councilman Narducci, Commissioner Infante-Green and Superintendent Montañez Break Ground on Narducci Learning Center Renovations
City of Providence invests $30 million to transform Narducci Learning Center into a new school that will eventually serve as swing space for 2023
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined Providence City Council President John Igliozzi, Councilman Nicholas J. Narducci (Ward 4), Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green, Providence Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez and community members to begin renovations of the Narducci Learning Center, formerly known as Windmill Street Elementary School. The school is scheduled to open in 2023 as a new 21st Century learning environment that will first serve as swing space as part of a larger district wide renovation plan.
«As Mayor, I believe that the greatest investment that Providence can make is in the future of our children,» said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. «We’ve undergone an extensive community visioning process that has prepared us to develop a master plan for our school buildings. Together, we have created an ambitious five-year School Capital Plan for up to $278 million in improvements, the largest investment approved by the State for a district in history, to support learning environments that are more than safe, warm and dry because our students deserve to learn in the best environment we can provide for them. The renovations at the Narducci Learning Center are just the beginning of investments to prepare Providence children to succeed from cradle to career.»
The Windmill Street Elementary School has been closed since 2012. The $30 million renovation project was outlined in coordination with the City of Providence, PPSD and RIDE’s School Building Authority. Renovations will prepare the building to be used as swing space in the coming years to significantly speed up construction at other schools while minimizing costs and student disruption. The planned upgrades are designed to be adaptable as other school buildings begin renovations, featuring an innovative design that allows for the reconfiguration of the building’s layout as needed.
“With a robust Capital Improvement plan for Providence Public Schools that leverages innovative approaches including the use of swing space at the Narducci Learning Center, we will make sure Providence students learn in schools that inspire them to succeed,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We’re thrilled to join our partners in kicking off this important project that will offer a space to host our students while we make desperately needed improvements in school buildings across the city. All our students deserve to have access to 21st century learning spaces where they can thrive, and with these investments we are one step closer.”
“The Turnaround Action Plan (TAP) crafted by our community is our blueprint for success in Providence Schools, and one of the pillars of the TAP is Efficient District Systems,” said Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “We must use our resources wisely to support our schools. By making the Narducci Learning Center a modern facility that supports student success, we can ensure that our students continue to thrive while we perform renovations that schools across the District have needed for decades.”
Formerly known as Windmill Street Elementary School, the building was renamed by the Providence City Council in January 2022 to honor the Narducci family.
“Today is a humbling day for the entire Narducci family, who settled here in the city’s north end generations ago,” said Councilman Nicholas Narducci (Ward 4). “I attended school here, as did my siblings. My mother and wife worked in this building, which will always hold a special place in my heart. As we build and renovate this structure back to its old glory, brick by brick, I know it will once again be a bright, safe, and state-of-the-art facility for all our school children, now known as the Narducci Learning Center.”
The construction work is being completed by design and build contractor Bacon Construction. The project is expected to be completed in February 2023 and will feature STEM classrooms, an outdoor learning area, a computer lab and breakout space, over all with the facility totaling 110,000 square feet. The Narducci Learning Center will have a capacity of 700 students.