Schwager, Donegan Named to School Construction Committee

by | Mar 12, 2024

Above: A drone shot of the Frenchtown Elementary School property in late 2023; the construction plan calls for the building to be replaced. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

The town is looking for 2 residents with construction experience to serve

The Town Council named Council President Mark Schwager and Vice President Mike Donegan to serve on the School Construction Committee, the panel that will guide design and construction of the $150 million schools project approved by voters last November. Schwager will serve in his capacity as council president, as required by the committee’s charge. Donegan, who was absent from the Monday night meeting, was approved by a 4-0 vote. 

Schwager and Councilor Renu Englehart had served on the School Building Committee, which has been dissolved to make way for the construction committee.

The charge for the School Construction Committee calls for 12 members – mostly elected officials or employees of the town or schools. But there are 2 positions open to residents with experience in construction: 

Two of the twelve members will be members of the community; one with public-sector, large-scale construction experience and the other with architectural, engineering and/or construction experience. 

Schwager said the town had heard from a few individuals who expressed a desire to serve but they are still interested in hearing from others (here’s the ad about those positions: Ad for SCC public members). Serving on the committee would be a several-year commitment as the town undertakes a multi-phase building project that includes a new school to replace Frenchtown Elementary, a near-total renovation of Hanaford Elementary, a number of projects at EGHS, and smaller renovations at Meadowbrook Farms Elementary. (Under the plan, Eldredge will be closed as a school.)

The School Committee has not yet voted on the second member from their panel to sit on the committee. The charge for the committee names the chair – Alyson Powell – to the panel. The School Committee meets next on Tuesday (3/19). 

Schwager said he was eager to get the committee started. “There’s a lot to do,” he said Monday. 

The roles for the School Construction Committee: 

1) The Chair of the School Committee, ex officio;

2) School Superintendent, ex officio;

3) School Department Director of Facilities, ex officio

4) A member of the School Committee that is selected by that body; 

5) A Principal of a school that is a subject of the Project; 

6) The Town Finance Director, ex officio

7) The Town Director of the Department of Public Works or Director of Planning, ex officio

8) Town Manager, ex officio

9) The Town Council President, ex officio

10) A member of the Town Council; 

11) A member of the community with public sector, large- scale construction experience; and 

12) A member of the community with architectural, engineering and/ or construction experience.

Find all the stories we have written about the school construction project on this landing page HERE.

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Matthew Tsimikas
Matthew Tsimikas
March 13, 2024 7:46 am

Congratulations keep moving us forward.

Bob D
Bob D
March 13, 2024 2:45 pm

How about one of the Sarah’s Trace residents for this constyruction committee. They probably have more experience with construction (Bad experience) than most anybody in East Greenwich. At least they would look after those in the neighborhoods of these projects and would be honest!


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