Committee opposes district’s school construction application

‘Stage II fails to meet goals for inclusion of renewable energy’

Posted 2/12/24

Not everyone in town was happy to learn that the Town Council and School Committee recently approved the Stage II application for school construction.  

Members of the Barrington Resilience …

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Committee opposes district’s school construction application

‘Stage II fails to meet goals for inclusion of renewable energy’

Posted

Not everyone in town was happy to learn that the Town Council and School Committee recently approved the Stage II application for school construction. 

Members of the Barrington Resilience & Energy Committee penned a policy brief last week opposing the advancement of the Stage II application. The Committee stated “that failing to adhere to state mandates related to renewable energy while receiving state funding may negatively impact Barrington taxpayers.”

The Committee further stated that the plans for the school renovations and additions fail to meet Barrington’s pledges and legal mandates for carbon emissions reductions by 2030. 

“The proposal does not conform to the Barrington Resilience Future Resolution, or RI’s 2021, Act on Climate,” stated the policy brief, which was shared by Resilience & Energy Committee Chairman Magnus Thorsson. “Furthermore, Stage II also fails to meet the goals for inclusion of renewable energy noted in the 2015 Comprehensive Plan. The BPS construction Project will expose Barrington taxpayers to unnecessary cost burden and the risk of future liability.”

Thorsson shared his Committee’s policy brief with the Barrington Town Council, Town Manager, Director of Planning, Town Clerk, and the School Committee.

The policy brief references a flyer that was sent to local taxpayers months ago promoting the school construction project. 

“The flyer also praised the virtues of net zero schools as using 30 percent less energy and 20 percent less water and can make money with renewable energy,” the brief stated. “The BPS construction project does not include designs for net zero buildings or renewable energy as implied in the flyer.”

The policy brief stated that not pursuing net-zero with the schools will cost taxpayers 20 to 25 percent more on energy and maintenance costs. 

“The BPS $250 million ‘Project’ does not include specific plans for installation of solar energy installation or any actions to implement renewable energy and thus contradicts the town’s pledges and statewide goals for carbon reduction,” stated the brief.

“The proposal does not identify specific actions to bring Barrington’s infrastructure in line with Town’s current Comprehensive Plan and fails to identify specific actions to meet the goals of 2021 Act on Climate or the transition to energy optimal schools by state law. The failure to implement solar panels on BMS has cost Barrington taxpayers an estimated $500,000 in missed savings since the middle school completion.”

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