Like many communities across the country, Warwick has seen a decline in student population over the past several decades, leading to the consolidation of the city’s three high schools and junior high schools into two high schools and two middle schools serving the community. As a result of this, several years ago, the Warwick School Department returned several school properties back to the city, which has been seeking proposals over time for the sale of various properties for redevelopment. As part of this process, the city recently issued an RFP for the adaptive re-use of the former Nelson Aldrich Junior High School property.
The property, located at 771 Post Rd. (Assessor’s Plat 288, Lot 59), consists of +/-11 acres and is bound largely by single-family residences to the immediate north and east, commercial properties to the south, and largely residential to the immediate west. Fire station #2 directly abuts it to the east, and the former Christopher Rhodes Elementary School property, which is being converted to a single-family subdivision, to the north. Existing vehicular access is on the western side of the property, via Relph St. The property includes athletic fields, and a three-story, 122,011 s/f building, including an addition constructed in the 1990s. Until its closure, it had been used continually as a public secondary school since its construction in 1934.
The property is zoned Residential A-7. Potential uses include, but are not limited to: incubator, market-rate, loft-style residential units, assisted-living facility, multi-family units, general office uses, services uses, limited indoor/outdoor recreational facility, restaurants (with or without liquor license), retail, recreation center, charter schools, day care facility, etc., limited light industry (specifically, assembling and packaging of articles), or, a mixed-use development, with the aforementioned elements. Several conceptual options are included with the RFP. Preservation of the building is strongly encouraged.
The city engaged the services of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. to prepare a survey of asbestos, lead, and hazardous building materials on the property, along with a cost estimate of abatement, disposal, and building demolition and disposal. GZA has estimated these total costs at $1,044,000. The full reports are also available online as part of the RFP.
The purchasing department, in coordination with the planning department, will hold a non-mandatory on-site tour on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 11 a.m. Sealed bids will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Monday, May 22. Bids will then be opened that day at the public properties committee meeting in city council chambers, 3275 Post Rd., Warwick. Please note that no proposals can be accepted via email or fax. The city reserves the right to reject any and all bids at its discretion.
A deposit of $100,000 must be included with the sealed bid and will be applied to the purchase price of the property. All other respondents’ deposits will be deposited by the city and repaid upon the city council’s formal acceptance of the highest bidder. This is an “as is” fee simple sale to the highest, sealed bidder. Should the highest bidder withdraw at any point in the process prior to closing, the city reserves the right to pursue a conveyance to the second highest bidder.
The complete RFP for the former Nelson Aldrich Junior High School property, including other terms, conditions, and requirements, can be found online at:https://www.warwickri.gov/purchasing-division/bids/sale-former-nelson-aldrich-junior-high-school-property-771-post-road. Prospective bidders are asked to contact planning director Tom Kravitz at 401-921-9683.
If you would like to be added to the bid/vendor list in order to receive future RFPs directly, please email your name and contact information to: [email protected]. A listing of all municipal bid/RFP opportunities is available at https://www.warwickri.gov/bids.
Frank Picozzi is the mayor of the city of Warwick, R.I.