Since taking office in January, I’ve been working diligently to address some of the issues related to a handful of municipal buildings, some of which have lain fallow over the past several years after their closure as school-related facilities.
Several years ago, the Warwick School Committee, which operates autonomously from city government, consolidated some schools as the result of declining enrollment, and, under the city charter, returned their care and custody back to the city. I am pleased to share with you that we will soon be sending out public Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the sale/reuse of these properties, which include the former:
• Nelson Aldrich Junior High School building and grounds, 789 Post Rd.
This is a three-story, 122,000 s/f building. The school was constructed for use as a high school in 1934 and re-purposed as a junior high in 1955. Presently zoned Residential A-7, abutting Office and General Business zones.
• Randall Holden Elementary School, 61 Hoxsie Ave..
This school is a one-story, 36,474 s/f building situated on +/- 4.31 acres, constructed in 1950. A portion of it is presently being utilized to house the city’s management information services, personnel, and community development, offices, which will be moving to the “sawtooth” AAA Northeast building in Apponaug. Presently zoned Residential A-7, with Office and General Business zones in close proximity.
• John Wickes Elementary School, 50 Child Lane.
This single-story, 43,444 s/f building is on +/- 10.38 acres and was constructed in 1954. Present zoning and surrounding vicinity Residential A-7.
• Warwick Schools Administration building, 34 Warwick Lake Ave.
This is a 15,884 s/f building constructed in 1932 and situated on +/- 2.58 acres. Although the address is Warwick Lake Ave., the property fronts on Warwick Ave., one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares. Presently zoned Residential A-7, with General Business and Office zoning across on Warwick Ave.
The city recently issued bids and awarded work to an environmental consultant, which will be preparing reports for the city that will quantify the cost of remedial actions necessary in advance of reusing or demolishing the buildings in preparation of reuses of the sites. The cost estimates will be provided for each of the sites as separate estimates.
Following this process, we will be issuing the RFPs, which will be available on the Division of Purchasing’s website (https://www.warwickri.gov/bids), and emailed to interested parties. If you would like to be added to the bid/vendor list for these RPFs, please email your name and contact information to: [email protected]
Those who have followed the news and these messages for information about our wonderful city already know that we have a lot to offer our residents, business community, and out-of-state guests. We look forward to hearing proposals for the revitalization of these parcels as part of our ongoing efforts to make our community ever more vibrant and successful, and encourage you to submit a response to the RFPs once they have been issued.
Frank Picozzi is the mayor of the city of Warwick, R.I.