Wickford El, Other Town Properties Up For Sale

Three vacant town buildings are up for sale starting this month.


For sales signs have gone up outside three vacant buildings owned by the Town of North Kingstown. Among them is Wickford Elementary School, site of Rhode Island's first public school, with a selling price of $1.1 million.

The former elementary school closed down in 2005. The North Kingstown Town Council and School Committee attempted to bring the building back to life last year with a proposal to convert the former school into a joint town hall and school administrative office. Last September in a special election, voters shot down a $3.85-million bond to convert the building – but approved a question that would allow the town to sell the building. 

Wickford Elementary School hits the market with two other town-owned buildings – the former IT building on Reynolds Street (behind town hall) and the former town garage on Oak Hill Road.

Below are the asking prices for the properties:

  • Wickford Elementary –  $1.1 million 
  • Reynolds Street – $249,000
  • Oak Hill – $999,999

According to Town Manager Michael Embury, the town intends to use the funds from the sale of these buildings toward its other post employment benefits (OPEB). This trust fund is not a pension plan, Embury stated. 

Allen Gammons of Prudential Gammons Realty in East Greenwich will be marketing the properties. According to Embury, he has already received a number of inquiries. Last September after the bond failed, Embury suggested the town reach out to a professional organization to market these properties for sale.

“We don’t have the staff to keep answering questions or to bring people on tours,” said Embury. “I think a professional organization is the way to go.”

While these three properties go up for sale, another vacant town building may have a different future. Little Red Schoolhouse on School Street is taking a different route for its future as town officials consider turning the building into a new home for the North Kingstown Food Pantry. The school, which used to house a preschool program, closed down last year due to financial hardship.

The town solicitor and others are now drafting up a five-year least between the town and the food pantry to move it to the larger space.

Politics Sheriff of NK November 27, 2012 at 07:18 AM
Alan Gammons is a highly competent realtor. In any case if you all are implying that the fix is in (as in a buyer in the wings, and a rigged offer) that can be done with any realtor, technically. The voters approved the sale, and the manager has enlisted a high performing well known local realtor to show the buildings to buyers. I'm not sure what the issue there is. As to his bankruptcy, I dont know Gammons personally and have only met him in passing at a few functions. He seems like a nice enough guy and this economy crash has many victims, maybe he is just another one whose balance sheet and business interests couldnt sustain the massive burden of a crashed economy. Like GM, Hostess, and the US Govt for example. (The latter example can buy time by printing money) As to Mr Cranston's pledge to challenge the legality of the property not being a school, I seem to recall that was in the paper (Standard Times IIRC) back during the Halley illegal closure fiasco, or shortly thereafter. I was surprised at the time since he is a town employee and I figured they would easily quiet him right down on the matter which seems to have happened. I think the Halley - DeFedele - NKGOP illegal closure of that popular school and dont forget the "pairing" of grade schools, was a disaster. Muriel Camarra said that he told her he didnt have to pair the schools, and did it 'to show the parents' who didnt approve the extra $$$. Isnt that nice. And the NKGOP STILL controls our council.
MeanE November 27, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I don't care as much about the Realtor as I do where the proceeds of the sale will be used. I find it sad that the Town Manager has to clarify his statement by saying that the trust fund is not a pension plan. Guilty conscience? However, is there another realtor that would sell the properties at less of a commission? If the answer is yes, then why was this not put out to bid? Alan can be the nicest guy in the world, but if for instance he is going to take 7% and another qualified realtor is willing to accept 5%, then there is a $47K problem.
Politics Sheriff of NK November 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Once when I sold an investment property, I put the work "out to bid" and asked a realtor if he would discount to 5%. He asked me in reply, "if you were selling a property at 5%, and had lots of 6% properties to also put time into, which would be the priority?" He said he wasnt just talking about himself, he said ALL the other agents and realtors who would be representing properties to their buyers, would also have to abide by the lower percent. due to the less attention, 1% or 2% lower commission can lead to a lower sale price and no real savings for the seller. I signed at 6% and the property quickly sold, at a good price.
mark henricks November 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
LOL. Proceeds to pay benefits. :)
K Rademacher December 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Tim did indeed say this. I can't remember if it was in an op-ed piece or in one of his columns, but it was shortly after Wickford El was closed. The Cranston family deeded the property to the town with the stipulation that it was to be used only for educational purposes.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »