Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-04-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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10 CUMBERLAND / LINCOLN APRIL 4-10, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION LINCOLN – Fairlawn Park is pre- paring for a spring revival. The town of Lincoln hopes to replace the park's outdated play- ground, install new basketball and pickleball courts, renovate the base- ball diamond, refurbish and expand the restroom and concession facilities and add off-street parking. Bids are out for the bulk of the project, which was budgeted last year for $100,000 from the town, plus a $300,000 grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. The park was last renovated in 2001, according to Town Planner Al Ranaldi, when the town installed handicap access and a new path con- necting the park at McDuff Street to the basketball courts located through the woods behind Reservoir Avenue. "It was a good attempt to bring the two areas closer together, but in the meantime the basketball courts have an older audience and it was hard to supervise the courts from a summer programming standpoint," Ranaldi said. "Kids appreciate basketball, but counselors can't be in two places at one time." "You can't shout across, you can't see them," added Parks and Recreation Director Alan Moreau, who said it was like a field trip bring- ing students to use the courts. To remedy the problem, Ranaldi and Moreau worked with Town Engineer Leslie Quish on a plan to bring a new basketball court to the main playground area. Plans for the old court space are to be determined. The new basketball space will also include striping for two pickleball courts and an additional oversized pickleball court that they hope to add basketball hoops to. Moreau said the plan expands the amount of recre- ation space, while condensing it. The drawings also include space for some off-street parking. Ranaldi said, "Everyone in town uses the baseball field, but it's all on street parking. It's truly a neighborhood park. For all intents and purposes, if there is no baseball game, the playground attracts a couple of kids." Moreau said the park is nicknamed "Little Fenway," a nod to its miniature Green Monster in right field. Moreau said an even larger "little monster" would be added to protect the play- ground. Outdated playground equipment will be replaced as part of the plan, and the location of the playground will be moved to use space more efficiently. Moreau said the new play- ground would be wheelchair accessi- ble and would include a few adaptive elements. "Historically, from a municipal standpoint, playgrounds go through a rebirth of rules and regulations every 20 years or so. This equipment was roughly 30 years out of date," Ranaldi said. The location of the park's pavilion will also change, but only from one side of the restroom/concession build- ing to the other. By changing the loca- tion of the pavilion from west to east, parents, guardians and camp counsel- ors will be more centrally located and able to visualize more park space. "With the new design you can have three generations all in the same area," Moreau said. "An older person can sit out of the sun under the pavilion and watch a game or watch the kids from the play- ground," Ranaldi said. Both the building and attached cov- ered pavilion will be expanded and renovated inside and out, with the addition set to include an accessible family bathroom and a community space with a roll-up window for con- cessions, which can be rented through the Parks Department. Quish said bids are due April 9, and that officials hope to award the project at the April Town Council meeting. "We can start shortly thereafter. We're looking for them to get going very quickly on this," she said. In the meantime, the crews from Parks and Recreation and the Department of Public Works are clearing brush and working to clean the site up ahead of construction. "We're happy to be breathing new life into this park," Ranaldi said. Overhaul planned for Fairlawn Park By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD The town of Lincoln is preparing for a $400,000 overhaul of FAIRLAWN PARK, nicknamed "Little Fenway," to include renovated facilities, a new playground and recreation space and off-street parking. CUMBERLAND – Beginning this week, school food service pro- vider Sodexo is enforcing its new policies on delinquent student meal payment plans. Starting April 1, students with a negative balance of $50 or more are not being allowed a meal of their choice, according to the new policy. Their only option is an alter- native meal consisting of a sunbut- ter and jelly sandwich, baby carrots, raisins, and white milk. A previous relaxing of the rules to avoid "lunch shaming" of stu- dents with negative meal balances was reversed this year after the combined sum owed climbed near $50,000, prompting school officials to express disappointment that what was intended to be a positive move was turned into a negative. School board member Steve Hess did not have an updated number on the overall balance, but said last week that two checks totaling $1,100 came in. Reversing policies seems to be having an impact, he said. Member Mark Fiorillo, respond- ing to parent questions, said he believes there will also be an option for parents to shut off charging of snacks throughout the school day. New lunch policy finalized Cumberland Community Christian Church hosts musical group Sunday CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland Community Christian Church, 481 Broad St., is hosting the musical group "One Voice," Sunday, April 7, at 10 a.m. The band is presenting an Easter Musical entitled "Reign, Jesus, Reign." 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