Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 02-17-2021

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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2 NORTH PROVIDENCE FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION NORTH PROVIDENCE – The town's older elementary schools are undergoing another round of secu- rity upgrades. The idea, officials say, is to have the same security features district-wide, bringing Centredale, Greystone and Whelan Elementary Schools up to par with the security measures in place at the town's two newest schools, Stephen Olney and McGuire. School leaders petitioned the town last year to make the upgrades with- out impact to the annual budget by using funds from the nonprofit Kids Klub. When the district entered an agreement with the after-school care program, school and town officials agreed that revenues garnered from renting school buildings to Kids Klub would be put aside to be used specifically for school improve- ments. The Town Council later approved the School Department's request to use up to $75,000 of the roughly $140,000 Kids Klub account balance on safety upgrades. Last fall, the district got to work installing new camera systems at the schools, which tie in via fiber optics to emergency dispatchers. Upgrades were also made to the Police Department's key fobs, so that they can access all school buildings in the event of an emergency. The final phase involves installing safety glass in the foyers of the three older elementary schools. When the work is complete, Supt. Joseph Goho said each of the dis- trict's elementary buildings will be "comparable in all ways in terms of security." The safety glass was built into the newly constructed Stephen Olney and McGuire Schools. Next, Goho said the district will turn its focus to the middle and high school, "so that all of our schools will really be on the same level." The elementary schools will be paid for via Kids Klub funding, while Goho said funding for the middle and high school projects may come in part from reimburse- ments from other school projects done in the fall using COVID-19 money. Assistant Supt. Louise Seitsinger recently confirmed that the dis- trict has applied for Green Ribbon Schools grants from the U.S. Department of Education for Stephen Olney and McGuire. It is not a monetary grant, Seitsinger said, but rather "a recog- nition of the three pillars of reducing environmental impact, improving health and wellness of students and staff, and also providing effective environmental and sustainable edu- cation." Additional security upgrades coming to elementary schools By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com NORTH PROVIDENCE – The Zoning Board has scheduled a meet- ing this week to consider making way for a new home on an undersized lot on High Service Avenue. The Planning Board last month unanimously recommended that the Zoning Board approve a left side variance of 10 feet and right side variance of 5 feet (smaller spaces to lot lines) for the home on 3,800 square feet of land at 0 High Service Ave., prompting criticism from Council President Dino Autiello, who is drawing comparisons to a previous controversial approval of a home on North Elmore Avenue, which was later reversed. Autiello, who lives near the prop- erty, is leading the charge with neighbors against the proposal from Bukky Olukoga, of 57 High Service Ave., which is on the agenda for this Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. Autiello is questioning the Planning Board's decision to consider the character of properties behind High Service Avenue when deciding to recommend approval. Planner Brent Wiegand notes that there are a num- ber of homes in the area that were approved for undersized lots with variances. The minimum modern lot size for a home in North Providence is 8,000 square feet, but Wiegand emphasizes that this is not the case for legal non- conforming lots that were recorded before modern zoning was put in place. The North Elmore property was not a legal lot of record previ- ously, he previously said. Also on Thursday's agenda is an application for preliminary and master plan approval for 24 residen- tial units at the former St. Patrick's School on Woonasquatucket Avenue, and an application for a special use permit for the expansion of a struc- ture at 111 Homewood Ave. Zoning set to hear proposal for undersized lot By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com Please let our advertisers know that you read about their products or services in The Valley Breeze Newspapers. 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