Blackstone Valley Prep, a charter school network, has begun construction of Black Valley Prep High School in Cumberland, R.I.
The school is scheduled to open in 2017-18 with capacity for 320 students in grades nine to 12.
The 40,000-square-foot campus will have 10 core classrooms, two science classrooms, an art room, maker space, music room, cafeteria, media center, gymnasium, administrative support spaces, athletic field and parking. The projected construction budget is $10.3 million.
School officials say the exterior design is inspired by the surrounding neighborhood and green space as well as the role of the Blackstone Valley in the early days of the textile industry. Given this, the use of cedar planks and corrugated metal on the exterior of the building are to reflect a contemporary use of industrial materials.
The Blackstone Valley Prep network operates six schools in northern Rhode Island. The Providence Journal reports that the charter high school has been leasing space in the former St. Joan of Arc Church in Cumberland, but was forced to look elsewhere after the Roman Catholic Diocese refused to extend the lease.