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Defying school board, commission closes Fifth Ave

August 9, 2012

WOONSOCKET – In a clash with the School Committee, the Budget Commission Thursday voted to adopt a $66.6 million budget to run the education department that calls for shutting down Fifth Avenue School.
The 4-1 vote, in which Mayor Leo T. Fontaine was the only commissioner who sided with school officials, came a day after the school committee approved the same budget for fiscal year 2013, with an unfunded recommendation to keep the school open.
Five spectators expressed an opinion on the closing of the school before the vote. One was for it, while four were against it, including two members of the school committee. Fairmount resident Lew Pryeor said closing the school will contribute to the decay of the blue collar enclave by encouraging residents to move closer to schools in other neighborhoods.
“We’re trying to keep the neighborhood,” said Pryeor. “Taking the kids out is not going to help the neighborhood. You’re going to see it go down further.”
Recent reports that the 94-year-old school is plagued by fire code violations and that the education department has 27 percent more desk space in its elementary schools than it’s using did not help the case for saving Fifth Avenue, however. The numbers translate in a net surfeit of roughly 1,100 desks in a school district with room for 4,000, according to a Rhode Island Department of Education “capacity” study.

Read more in Friday's print edition.

Comments

Articles

August 11, 2012 by rogab (not verified), 1 year 49 weeks ago
Comment: 1865

I read the The Call online from New Jersey for information from Woonsocket (a native). When you post an article and say to pick up the paper to read the full version of the article, it's not quite possible to do here. You might as well not post the article.

5th ave school

August 11, 2012 by T (not verified), 1 year 49 weeks ago
Comment: 1864

Sure more apartments give the school away for peanuts,turn it into condos,while there are hundreds of foreclosed homes in the city.over crowd the other schools stuff them class rooms,,city on the move love that phrase it's going to be the joke of the century lmao

closing 5th ave school

August 10, 2012 by T (not verified), 1 year 49 weeks ago
Comment: 1862

Makes me laugh when I see the signs Woonsocket city on the move,,,just what woonsocket needs another building to give away dirt cheap so someone can make apartments out of it,while all the forclosed houses make the city look like a war zone.

Seriously?

August 10, 2012 by Working Stiff (not verified), 1 year 49 weeks ago
Comment: 1861

Does anyone really think the school committee approved the vote to keep the school open, thinking the budget commission would follow the recommendation? The vote by the committee was a political calculation that would put them in good stead with the voters, they could then turn around and say, "We didn't vote to close the school, that was the big, bad budget commission's fault."

School building...

August 9, 2012 by Marcel (not verified), 1 year 49 weeks ago
Comment: 1860

This will make a nice condo / apartment complex down the road...which equals to more tax revenue for the City.

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