PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Mayor Brett Smiley, Councilor Sue AnderBois, Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez, School Board President Erlin Rogel, Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro, and Hope High School Principal Francisco Velasquez today joined students, teachers, administrators and community partners for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of Hope High School’s newly redesigned auditorium. The renovation project of Hope High School’s auditorium, originally built in 1936, has culminated in a resounding success. The auditorium now stands as a symbol of PPSD’s commitment to providing students with exceptional learning environments and opportunities for artistic expression. The auditorium redesign is part of a $20 million renovation project in the school, which also includes the school lobby, cupola, and other learning spaces.
“Today’s celebration marks a remarkable achievement for Hope High School and our entire community,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The newly redesigned auditorium is a testament to our commitment to providing our students with the resources and 21st century spaces they need to succeed. I am proud to stand here today and witness the impact this space will have on our students’ artistic growth and development. These are the types of investments that will help us get our students ahead!”
“The successful renovation of the Hope High School auditorium fills me with immense joy and pride. Our investments in upgrading school facilities and creating modern learning environments across Providence is vital to our students’ educational journey,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “I remember just how much work this space needed when I became Commissioner and we began the Providence Turnaround. This newly redesigned auditorium is a testament to the progress we are making in PPSD, and it will serve as a vibrant space for artistic expression, collaboration, and community engagement.”
“Every student deserves modern, state-of-the-art equipment and beautiful spaces where they can learn and pursue their passions,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “I want to thank the State for their partnership, working to make investments like these in across our schools and providing students with spaces where they can explore their passions.”
“The Providence City Council is committed to providing our students with the resources and the environment they need to achieve academic excellence. Hope High’s incredibly beautiful new auditorium will inspire the school’s performing arts program, anchor other student activities, and provide for the greater neighborhood. When we boldly invest in Hope High and in other school buildings across the city, those actions show we care about our children and their future,” said Councilor Sue AnderBois (Ward 3).
“The successful ribbon cutting event at Hope High School marks a significant achievement in our ongoing efforts to provide our students with exceptional learning environments,” said PPSD Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “This beautifully renovated auditorium will empower our students to explore their artistic talents, build confidence, and develop crucial skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors.”
“Congratulations to the Hope High School community, both past and present, for bringing this vision to reality. It is a remarkable new space where our students can be inspired to thrive and create through theater and music. Let this Arts center be a model for all schools so that the artistic talents and gifts our students possess are ignited and energized by this new space and perhaps we will uncover a future Oscar or Tony award winner,” said PTU President Maribeth Calabro.
“We are thrilled to welcome state and city leaders to our school for the ribbon cutting event for our newly redesigned auditorium. This space represents a remarkable opportunity for our students to showcase their talents and engage in the performing arts,” said Hope High School Principal Francisco Velasquez. “We are grateful for the support of our community partners and dedicated educators who have made this transformation possible.”
Hope High School’s newly redesigned auditorium will continue to serve as a cornerstone of artistic exploration, cultural enrichment, and community connection. It will provide students with a platform to showcase their talents, nurture their passions, and collaborate with one another in meaningful ways.
PPSD, the Rhode Island Department of Education, and the City of Providence are hard at work investing in upgrading school buildings, classrooms, and learning spaces across the district. The Hope project is part of a $500+ million long-term facilities plan to upgrade Providence Public Schools and raise the percentage of students learning in high-quality learning spaces from just 5% to 50%.
In addition to the Hope High School auditorium, PPSD has celebrated milestones for several school projects including new and like-new schools that will open this fall which include Spaziano and D’Abate Elementary Schools and the Narducci Learning Center.