Rhode Island School Building Authority

The State of Rhode Island is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities for all public school students. School facilities provide more than a place for instruction. The physical learning environment contributes to the successful performance of educational programs. 

With assistance from the School Building Authority Advisory Board, the School Building Authority will ensure that all approved projects provide high quality learning environments, conserve natural resources, consume less energy, are easier to maintain, and provide educationally appropriate school facilities.  This includes overseeing and managing two distinct funding mechanisms for school facilities: the Housing Aid Program and the School Building Authority Capital Fund. The School Building Authority will continue to provide assistance as schools and districts undertake the multi-stage Necessity of School Construction Application to identify school facilities’ needs across the schools and districts buildings.

Children at school table

Build Upon What Works

These changes to the oversight and management of school construction are building on the solid foundation of work undertaken by the General Assembly, the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, and the RI Department of Education.  The School Construction Program, through the oversight of the School Construction Regulations, has set in place fiscal prudence and effective planning practices that have substantially reduced school construction approvals.

Districts will continue to complete the Necessity of School Construction application – to ensures that all approved projects provide high quality learning environments – and will continue to receive reimbursement based on their share ratios (reimbursement rates) for completed projects.   Projects not funded through the School Building Authority Capital Fund will still be eligible under the existing Housing Aid System.

Additional Information

On Monday September 11th, RIDE held a State of Rhode Island Schoolhouses Presentation at the Gaige Hall Auditorium at Rhode Island College.

This event is geared toward LEA leaders (Superintendents, Business Managers, School Committee Members, and Municipal Officials) will provide a board overview of the statewide assessment included in the State of Rhode Island Schoolhouses report, the Jacobs' Recommendations for Consideration, and the updated SBA website.

The School Building Authority is part of RIDE’s Office of Statewide Efficiencies. The School Building Authority oversees the school construction process to ensure that districts comply with provisions of the School Construction Regulations (SCRs).

As of 2007, RIDE ensures that all projects comply with the requirements set forth in the most recent Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools (NECHPS) protocol so that approved projects provide high quality learning environments, conserve natural resources, consume less energy, are easier to maintain, and provide an enhanced school facility. Through this process RIDE has helped find efficiencies in the design, construction, and operations of school facilities that have resulted in substantial savings due to educational facility planning efficiencies and construction cost avoidance, as well as energy and water cost savings.

Students sitting in front of a laptop

The School Building Authority Advisory Board advises the School Building Authority regarding the best use of the capital fund, including setting statewide priorities, criteria for project approval, and recommendations for project approval and prioritization.

With the establishment of the School Building Authority Advisory board and School Building Authority, Rhode Island reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that children of Rhode Island have safe, healthy, adequate, and educationally appropriate school facilities.

  • Michael DiBiase - Chair
  • Michael DeMatteo
  • Joesph Dewhirst
  • Shannon Donovan
  • Jhonny Leyva
  • Seth Magaziner, Hon.
  • Carolyn Mark

We welcome all questions, which can be directed to the School Building Authority Staff.

  • Joseph da Silva, Ph.D.

    School Construction Coordinator / Architectural Design Reviewer

    (401) 222-4294


  • Joseph McPhee, NCARB

    Educational Facility Planner / Architectural Design Reviewer

    (401) 222-4276


Governor Raimondo signed an executive order creating the Rhode Island School Buildings Task Force. The group will consider district feedback and public input to develop an action plan that includes potential funding streams and recommendations on how to effectively maximize resources. The task force will report its recommendations to the Governor by December 2017.

The task force, which is co-chaired by Treasurer Magaziner and Commissioner Wagner, includes the following members:

  • DOA Director Michael DiBiase, School Building Authority Advisory Board
  • Senator Hannah Gallo (Cranston) on behalf of the Senate
  • Jamestown Town Manager Andy Nota, on behalf of the League of Cities and Towns
  • Joseph Dewhirst, Chairman, Rhode Island Health and Education Building Corporation
  • Michael Sabitoni, President, RI Building and Construction Trades Council and Business Manager, Laborers Local 271
  • Frank Flynn, President, Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals
  • Larry Purtill, President, National Education Association of Rhode Island and Member, Council of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Kinzel Thomas, Providence School Board, on behalf of the RI Association of School Committees
  • Barry Ricci, Chariho Superintendent, on behalf of the RI School Superintendents Association
  • Patricia Flanagan, M.D., Pediatrician-in-Chief at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Brown Medical School
  • Neil Steinberg, Rhode Island Foundation President
  • John Hazen White, Jr., President & CEO, Taco, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT