Monday, November 26, 2012
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 …
Monday, July 16, 2012
Avis L. (Briggs) Willis passed away Saturday, July 14 at 96.
The following obituary was provided by Cranston-Murphy Funeral Home. Avis L. (Briggs) Willis of North Kingstown died peacefully on Saturday, July 14 at Roberts Health Centre. She was 96 years old. Willis was the daughter of the late James A. Briggs and Avis E. (Arnold) Briggs. She was also the wife of the late Jedidiah G. Willis. Willis was a teacher at Wickford Elementary School for many years until her retirement. She was also a member of the Lafayette Advent Christian Church, Washington County Retired Teachers Association, the Central Retired Teachers Association, the Sons & Daughters of Liberty, Young at Heart, the North Kingstown Senior Center and the Women's Guild of the First Baptist Church in Wickford. Her hobbies included playing …
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The former elementary school has been closed for six years. So what should become of it?
From Post Road to Boston Neck Road to Quaker Lane, North Kingstown has its fair share of vacant buildings. Some have been empty for years while others see a rotating crop of businesses. But, if it were up to you, what would you like to see happen to these buildings? Each week, we'll feature one empty building, lot or area in North Kingstown and ask our readers what they'd like to see there. A skate park? A community center? A Thai restaurant? A movie theater? What do you want? This week: In 2005, Wickford Elementary School closed its doors. In September, voters shot down a $3.85-million bond to convert it into a joint town hall and school adminstration building but approved a special election question that would allow the town to sell the …
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Both the town and school departments are anticipating big deficits next year.
Three months before the budget process begins for next year, the North Kingstown Town Council and School Committee met to discuss what is expected to be one of the toughest budget seasons in decades. “I’ve been in this business for the past 30 years and this is the absolute worst,” said North Kingstown Town Manager Michael Embury. Monday night’s primary topic of conversation, or what Embury termed as the “900-pound gorilla in the room,” was pension reform — which Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is expected to introduce to the General Assembly Tuesday night. North Kingstown’s contribution to the pensions would increase by $4.8 million if pension reform is not passed, Embury said. If it is passed, North Kingstown would still …
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
What will be the fate of North Kingstown's soon-to-be vacant buildings?
The list of vacant buildings in town hands is about to grow even more, according to Town Manager Michael Embury. With last week’s overwhelming election results to reject a $3.85-million bond to convert Wickford Elementary School into a joint town hall and school administration building, the fate of the former school now has a big question mark next to its name. Also in last week’s election, voters authorized the town to sell the building, which has been vacant since 2005. Council members Michael Bestwick and Charles Stamm both expressed disappointment in last week’s election decision. Stamm stated he didn’t think the school's “story was well told” while Bestwick suggesting repackaging the bond and submitting it during the general election…
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Voters shot down two of the three bond questions in the Sept. 13 special election.
9:40 p.m. North Kingstown voters have denied two of the three questions on the Sept. 13 special election. Both questions to approve a $850,000 bond to install an artificial turf at McGinn Park and a $3.85-million bond to convert Wickford Elementary School into a joint town hall and school administration buliding were shot down in landslide votes. The artificial turf at McGinn was denied by 74 percent of voters with 1,327 votes. The Wickford Elementary Scool conversion was also shot down with 62 percent of the vote. Voters approved question three, allowing the town to sell Wickford Elementary School in the event that the aforementioned bond was not approved, with 55 percent of the vote. Overall, voter turnout was only nine percent with 1,…
Five things to know for Sept. 13.
North Kingstown voters will go to the polls today to vote on three questions to determine the fate of two bonds. One bond, for $3.85 million, would covert Wickford Elementary School into a joint town hall and school administrative building. Another question would authorize the town to sell the now-vacant school if the aforementioned bond is not approved. Lastly, another question would approve $850,000 to install artificial turf at McGinn Park. Voting will take place at Davisville Middle School and Cold Spring Community Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The murder trial of Kimberly Fry starts today down at Washington County Superior Court. Fry is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of her eight-year-old daughter Camden back in 2009…
Monday, September 12, 2011
HistWick President Mike Dacey urges voters to vote no on question three in tomorrow's special election.
Monday, September 12, 2011
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Town of North Kingstown will ask voters to vote on three questions: two (Questions #2 and #3) will concern the Wickford Elementary School property. Question # 2 asks approval to finance $3.85 million for reuse of Wickford Elementary School (WES) for a combined town hall/school administration facility. I write on behalf of the board of Historic Wickford, Inc. We are concerned that two historic structures in Wickford Village will become vacant if this plan to relocate the town hall is approved. While we believe that the relocation and consolidation project could benefit the town, we cannot support the referendum until the following questions are answered. In response to our inquiries, the town indicated that they …
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Town Council member Chuck Brennan is urging voters to approve a bond to convert Wickford Elementary School.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I am in favor of the bond referendum to turn Wickford Elementary into a town hall/school administration building. The main reason for being in favor of the project is that the two groups that spend all the tax money (the town government and school department), work in two different locations and have very little interaction. I believe that both groups would have better working relations if they worked in the same building. We may actually find ways to consolidate some services. I envision perhaps one office responsible for human relations handling employee benefits and other issues. In other words, there is the potential for more efficient operations and cost savings. The town hall is 123 years old and past it's serviceable life and is not…
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Voter registration and other deadlines loom for next month's referenda.
Deadlines for voter registration and mail-in ballots are fast approaching for next month's special election in North Kingstown in which the fate of Wickford Elementary School may be determined. First-time voters, voters new to North Kingstown or those who have changed their name have until Aug. 13 to register to vote in the Sept. 13 election. North Kingstown residents can reigster at the North Kingstown Town Hall on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Though the deadline falls on a Saturday, town hall will remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for last-minute registrations. For those seeking a mail-in ballot, you have until Aug. 23 to file your request. Completed mail-in ballots must be received by the North Kingstown Board of Canvassers …