Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 07-30-2020

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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8 CUMBERLAND JULY 30-AUGUST 5, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION within walking distances who are currently being transported to school by bus be required to walk to school per district policy. The superintendent also needs the committee's approval for the bump in distance for kindergarten. All changes will be reviewed by the Cumberland Police Department, according to Mitchell, so school officials can ensure that students who are being asked to walk because they live within walking distances are safe. Highway Supt. Frank Stowik will also be brought into the discus- sion. Member Mark Fiorillo asked that actual walking distances be mea- sured, and not distances "as the crow flies." A map of Valley Falls makes it look like students can walk to school, he said, but they're forced to walk a much longer route because of the divide of the rail- road. DiModica agreed, saying the district can't have students crossing railroad tracks. One change that will be neces- sary in this new plan is the addi- tion of five new crossing guards, said Mitchell. State Rep. Jim McLaughlin said this week that he planned to meet Wednesday, July 29, with DiModica and Arthur Bovis, of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, to discuss the con- dition of crosswalks on state roads in town and to formalize a list for painting and enhancements. The town needs to get its children to school safely, he said. If the district is able to reduce the number of students taking buses, in part by getting students within walking distances to walk, administrators will be able to spread students out safely and improve its ability to get students to and from school while meeting CDC guidelines, said Mitchell. DiModica said transportation provider Durham School Services needs to make plans on routing, including picking up students dur- ing winter months. Students can be picked up on the way to school as long as the district meets guide- lines, he said. The school board tabled the measure to give parents time to learn more about the proposal and be able to voice their opinions. WALKING From Page 6 and Karen Freedman were all among those who co-signed a letter asking the sides to come together and negotiate, he said. Durham spokesman Edward Flavian said the sides have met several times and plan to meet again on Aug. 4. "The safety of our employees and passengers will remain our number one priority, and we will continue to negotiate in good faith," he said. Supt. Bob Mitchell told the school board last week that of all the issues facing schools as they look at a return of students on Aug. 31, one of the single biggest challenges is related to transporta- tion and how districts get students to and from school while effec- tively social distancing. State Rep. Jim McLaughlin has submitted a resolution request- ing that sides in this dispute meet by Aug. 5 and have a contract resolved by Aug. 15. DURHAM From Page 6 Place your classified ad online at classifieds.valleybreeze.com DONALD LEIGHTON, senior vice president of Lincoln-based BETA Group Inc., which is working with the town of Cumberland on parks projects, showed off this map Monday of a more cohesive plan for the Monastery campus, located off Diamond Hill Road. CUMBERLAND – While senior citizens haven't been able to gather at the Cumberland Senior Center since March, renovations to the interior and exte- rior of the facility have been underway to improve the space for their eventual return. Once complete, the upgraded facility, located at the Monastery off Diamond Hill Road, will allow staff to "be able to serve people so much easier," Linda Teel, chief of staff for Mayor Jeffrey Mutter, told The Breeze. "The expecta- tion is to provide a range of activities we weren't able to support before, once COVID is behind us." The renovations are funded by a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development, which the town received last sum- mer. The $500,000 grant covers a list of improve- ments, including the installation of a commercial kitchen to expand meal service; electrical, heat- ing and air conditioning system upgrades; and the addition of Americans with Disabilities Act acces- sible doors for safe access. Funding will also go toward constructing a foyer on the front of the building to block cold air from entering during winter months; making the front entrance more streamlined with fewer awkward turns; creating an area with seating and railings so members can wait for the bus under shelter; insulating and cladding the exterior of the build- ing; adding an outdoor patio area with easy access to the garden, new fencing and landscaping; and resolving drainage issues and repaving sections of the parking lot for improved safety, The Breeze pre- viously reported. Improvements to the Senior Center are part of the town's overall plan to create a cohesive campus at the Monastery, according to Sarah King, commu- nity outreach coordinator for the mayor's office. In addition to a newly renovated gazebo and a new playground at the site, King said the town received a $10,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation to add updated signage and lighting in keeping with the historical significance of the Monastery. King said she's not sure of the timeline for that project but that town officials have begun having conversations about the work including creating a granite sign similar to what's in front of Town Hall. Senior Center upgrades included in Monastery campus improvements By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer See SENIOR CENTER, Page 19 • Stuffed Shrimp • Clams Casino • Scallops/Bacon • Stuffies • Crab Cakes • Mushrooms • Stuffed Scrod • Stuffed Sole Quality Seafood Since 1982 Full Line of Bake & Serve Appetizers and Entrées NORTH PROVIDENCE 1702 Mineral Spring Ave. 353-6350 WARWICK 1 Centerville Road 738-6762 EBT OPEN 7 DAYS Fish & Chip Takeout Fridays! 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