ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester-area state lawmakers announced $473 million in funding to update, upgrade, and modernize facilities within the Rochester City School District Friday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed the Rochester School Modernization Program (RSMP) legislation into law, and state officials say it will be a nearly a billion-dollar investment to promote “an engaging, safe and improved environment for student learning in Rochester.”
Officials say this legislation will “increase access to equitable resources for RCSD students as well as create 1,000s of construction and infrastructure jobs in the region.”
“State-of-the-art learning spaces for our students, parents and facilities,” said RCSD Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small. “There are so many moments that give joy to a superintendent, seeing a scholar graduate, a kindergarten walk into the school for the first time. But when you have spaces that are new, engaging and exciting that further amplifies those feelings, not for me but for them.”
School Board President Van White also spoke saying to get to this point— phase III– took a massive effort with many people playing roles and advocating for this law to get signed.
“When these school buildings re-open, countless students will begin an exciting new phase of their education because this phase, like the previous phase, will provide our students with access to safer, efficient, and more effective learning environments,” said School Board President Van White.
“This is a day of celebration,” Assemblymember Harry Bronson said. “$473 million dollars that we will invest back into our students here in our Rochester School District. Our parents reached out to us and need to know we are listening.”
“Every student in this district deserves a new learning environment and what this legislation finally delivers for our scholars,” said State Sen. Jeremy Cooney.
“I am incredibly proud that we got this done. For me, this was my number one priority this year, having worked on it in partnership with David Gantt over the last couple of years, but knowing also that our students needed these buildings to be renovated for their education and wanting there not to be a delay between phase II and phase III. I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of this,” added Bronson.
RSMP landed on then-governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk back in June, and builds on a program that launched in 2013 that was designed to bring RCSD buildings and infrastructure into modern times.
Officials say nine buildings will be included for renovations with this funding, adding that the selection process was guided by career-serving parts of the district and the modernization will fit both academic and physical upgrades.
RSMP authorizes funding for up to 10 years.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.