Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 12-04-13

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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DECEMBER 4-10, 2013 Serving Pawtucket FREE Breeze THE VALLEY GOING COLD TURKEY COMPLEX INVESTMENT Turkey Trot draws hundreds downtown Thanksgiving morning. PAGE 5 Branch Street housing plan brings promise of revival. PAGE 3 @ "Like" us on Search for The Valley Breeze Newspapers Chester Building could be site of new charter high school By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Staff Writer PAWTUCKET – Administrators from the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy have zeroed in on the Benjamin Chester Building in downtown Pawtucket as a target location for their high school, which is set to open next fall. The building, at 175 Main St., at one time contained the Peerless Department Store, a hub for local shoppers. The building, across from the historic Slater Mill site, is currently home to CHIAPPETTA the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center and the Pawtucket Department of Planning and Redevelopment, among other tenants. Jeremy Chiappetta, executive director of the Cumberland-based public charter school, told members of the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency last week that he and others at the expanding school would "be thrilled to engage in serious discussions" about leasing the second floor of the Chester Building, with hopes of eventually buying the whole thing. "We would love, truly love to be partners in this site," said See HIGH SCHOOL, Page 27 VALLEY BREEZE PHOTO BY TOM WARD The CHESTER BUILDING, years ago more commonly known at the Peerless Department Store building on Main Street in Pawtucket, is under consideration for the new Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy High School, which will begin operation in September. More magic for 2013 Polar Express MYLES ROBINSON, of Pawtucket, enjoys a mug of hot cocoa aboard the Blackstone Valley Polar Express, a 90-minute train excursion to the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Saturday. The train leaves Woonsocket, and tours continue weekends through Dec. 22. See www.tourblackstone for more details and ticket information. By SANDY SEOANE Valley Breeze Staff Writer WOONSOCKET – It's always a magical trip for both the young and the young at heart, but somehow, this year, organizers hope to make the Blackstone Valley Polar Express, a 90 minute train ride inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's classic holiday tale, even more special. The train set off for its first journey to the North Pole on Nov. 24 this year, and guests to the Woonsocket Train Depot at One Depot Square were treated to a few new surprises. "Bob Billington's idea is to make it better every year," said Donna Houle of the director, project coordinator for Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, the organization that runs the Polar Express. The excur- VALLEY BREEZE PHOTO BY BILL MURPHY Slater Mill wins grant for exterior renovations By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Staff Writer PAWTUCKET – The trustees of the Old Slater Mill Association announced last week that they've received a grant of $483,000 from the Champlin Foundations to complete exterior renovations of the Slater Mill. The grant is the largest single award ever received by the OSMA. Planned exterior improvements include replacement of the roof, repair of damaged See GRANT, Page 6 See MAGIC, Page 7 Family Owned & Operated for 41 Years ALL FLOORING ON SALE!!! – Ceramic — Laminate – – Hardwood — Carpet – FREE PAD • FREE LABOR 772 Dexter Street, Central Falls, RI 401-724-6674 401-724-0470 Family Owned & Operated for over 41 years RETAIL WAREHOUSE Open to the Public Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. & Fri. 9- 6:30 PM; Wed 9- 6:00 PM, Sat. 9- 5:00 PM ©2013 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC.

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