Diana Pearson chairs panel studying future use of Potowomut School


Mayor Scott Avedisian has announced the membership of a nine-person committee he created by Executive Order to study options for the reuse of the Potowomut Elementary School.

Diana Pearson, a longtime resident of the area, will serve as committee chairwoman. Other members are: Councilman Steven Merolla, whose ward includes Potowomut; Phil Slocum, in his capacity as Planning Board chairman; Rick Crenca, principal planner in the Planning Department; Joe Blake, maintenance supervisor for the Department of Public Works; Lara D’Antuono, a resident of the area; George “Jay” Arnold, a longtime area resident and contractor; John Mulhearn, in his capacity as a real estate developer; and Jackie Procopio, who has been active for years with the Potowomut Neighborhood Association.

Potowomut was among four elementary schools that were closed by the Warwick School Department in recent years due to declining enrollment in the elementary school system. The School Department then declared the facility as surplus property and returned the care, custody and control of the building and grounds to the city.

A similar committee has also been formed to examine reuse of the Christopher Rhodes Elementary School. That committee has been meeting and its chairman, Council President Bruce Place, said he hopes to present recommendations to Avedisian within the next few months.


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