Alvarez High School


Alvarez High School


When and why was Alvarez High School built on the site? How did local residents respond to the City’s decision to build on this site and what is the response now?


Hannah Burn


Senate Bill June 2011
Approved and amended to Industrial Property Remediation and Reuse Act. RI. Senator Juan M. Pichardo sponsored legislation to make it more difficult for contaminated sites to be used for the construction of school buildings.
Requires a public hearing when a school is proposed to be built on a former industrial, manufacturing or landfill site.

Quick Facts

Built: 2007
Site: Soil contaminated & industrial pollutants
Architects: Edward Rowse
Sq. Footage: 82,000
Accommodation: 450 students
Cost: $14,500,000
City needed to find a space for 550 high school students immediately. Construction was delayed by court hearings involving Department of Environmental Management approval and by strong opposition from community members. Residents cite traffic, noise, that the entrance is planned for a residential street and contamination as their concerns. Initially, construction was fast-tracked due to immediate need. Tried to approve construction without DEM approval; it was quickly thwarted when DEM issued a cease-and-desist order until a remediation plan was approved.

[see attached file for further research and bibliography]




Hannah Burn, “Alvarez High School,” Reservoir of Memories, accessed September 23, 2020,