There is local talk of the closure of the Bradford Elementary School. Well, we are thrilled for an efficient and smart idea. But we all would hate to see this structure become another little-used community hall.
An estimated 24,000 people left the state of Rhode Island between 2004 and the beginning of this year. The birthrate statewide is continuing to drop. The state’s economic outlook is poor and good jobs are a rarity. I think all of these indications would suggest closure of this school to be intelligent and logical.
As taxpayers and residence of Bradford, we have an interesting and clever idea for the school building. This one-story structure would make an ideal for-profit assisted living or for-profit nursing home. The residents of Rhode Island are aging and there is an extreme need for elderly housing. The one population group that is growing in Rhode Island are the elderly citizens.
Some of the older states in the region have used clever incentives to turn over town or city property to the tax rolls. Adding a building of this size to the tax rolls would be good for the town and good for the neighborhood. This project would create taxes and jobs. A win for all.
The property could be listed for sale for $1 on the Dodge Report. Large builders like Dimeo Construction, Gilbane Building Co., and ADP Marshall would have enormous costs but the project would be completed correctly. The best project design would be the “winner” of the deal.
Please think about creating a tax gain, not more aging public buildings.
This is an open letter to the Westerly School Committee: