Cranston Public Schools and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union have tentatively agreed upon a figure of $150,000 for the school district to pay the ACLU for legal fees after losing the prayer banner case.
The schools’ Chief Operating Officer Raymond Votto said the city, School Committee and school district appeared to agree to the figure today. It remains up to U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux to approve the amount.
The announcement came with the backdrop of a blank, white wall in the auditorium at , where Votto delivered remarks this afternoon about the prayer banner’s removal over the weekend.
Votto said the banner’s removal cost a total of about $2,500, the majority spent on labor, which was done in-house by district workers. Because the work was done internally, it saved considerable money, Votto said.
A work crew came in at 7 a.m. on Saturday and the banner was gone by 2 p.m. On Sunday, new drywall was plastered in to the hole left behind.
The banner itself is in storage at an undisclosed facility. Votto said it will remain in “a holding pattern until the School Committee decides what to do with the banner.”
The 400-pound banner was braced and lowered using a rope system after the plaster was cut through. The banner was transported to the secure, non-climate-controlled facility using a city box truck. The banner itself was six inches thick and and eight feet by four feet in size.
“It was a substantial job,” Votto said.
A video of the press conference will be added to this story soon.