It is pretty evident that we have some issues with our physical plant at East Providence High School. Whether you have read the local news websites, watched a school committee meeting, or actually stepped foot into the building, you will have noticed that there are several things that need to be repaired. Let’s face it – the facility is getting old. It needs a major renovation that goes beyond safety upgrades. To really do it right, we’re talking a heckuvalot more than $15 million.
While recent reports have derided EPHS for a general state of disrepair, what many students and members of the public don’t know is that millions of dollars have been spent over the past year on some pretty serious renovations. When the citizens of East Providence voted to approve a bond referendum for school improvement, they might not have realized that the millions of dollars would be spent on safety and conservation upgrades.
Many of these upgrades are not obvious to the naked eye. Look up into the rafters of the gym or on the ceiling of the auditorium and you will see a new sprinkler system. As I gazed up yesterday during a faculty meeting, I couldn’t help but imagine the amount of man-hours it must have taken to do that job. Ours is a huge auditorium. We have also been plagued by fire alarm testing over the past few weeks. Most students and teachers don’t take notice of the new safety equipment throughout the school. We don’t even notice the newly constructed fire stops and doors throughout EPHS anymore. They have become just another part of the building. These improvements might not seem like much, but I do remember the Station Nightclub fire and I feel confident that these upgrades make us safer.
Like most teachers and students, I long for freshly painted walls and new tile. I would like to fight back the decay that has plagued EPHS, our nourishing mother.
What has not decayed, however, is the spirit of the kids who walk through the hallways of EPHS. While the building has gradually fallen to the ravages of time, the young men and women of EPHS continue to work to improve themselves both academically and socially. Do not judge the caliber of the students at East Providence High School by their surroundings. That part is the adults’ fault. Instead, look through the pages of this website and you will get a better picture of the young men and women of EPHS – the same kids who concentrate in her classrooms and compete on her courts – with dignity and pride. There are still amazing kids here. Let’s give them what they deserve. Sure, let's make them work for it, but let's give them what they deserve.