The public sessions start next week
By Andrew Belfry
Editor’s note: The initial version of the story said the first meeting would be March 1; we have since learned that was incorrect. The first meeting will be March 8. We apologize for the confusion.
The East Greenwich School Building Committee met Wednesday morning to discuss creating a calendar of public engagement events regarding the proposed construction plans for EG schools. The plans were discussed as recently as Monday’s Town Council meeting with an emphasis on the estimated tax implication for EG residents.
There are “three different types of engagement,” said Alyson Powell, vice chair of the EG School Committee. These meetings will be taking place at already scheduled Parent Teacher Group (PTG) meetings, a public meeting targeted at seniors, and two open community forums. All scheduled meetings will take place in March, however, some of the dates and times are in flux.
The PTG meetings, which will primarily be aimed at addressing community impact and specific questions about the schools the meetings will be held in, begin as early as Wednesday night.
These meetings are scheduled as the following:
- Frenchtown Elementary School: Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m.
- James H. Eldredge Elementary School: Friday, March 10, at noon
- Meadowbrook Farms Elementary: Wednesday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m.
- EG High School: Wednesday March 15, at 7 p.m.
- George R. Hanaford Elementary: March 29, at 6:30 p.m.
- Archie R. Cole Middle School: TBD
Powell noted that the committee was aware that Eldredge’s PTG meets in the afternoon, which might limit the number of community members able to attend. She addressed this by saying Superintendent Brian Ricca “is reaching out to the principal at Eldredge to schedule an evening meeting for that date as well. At Eldredge, there will be a parent-focused, community-focused forum at night.”
Additionally, the two PTG meetings held on the same night for Meadowbrook and EG High School might be held together, or the committee will send representatives to both, Powell said.
The second type of public engagement meetings will be “a dedicated program for seniors.” This meeting will take place on Thursday, March 23, at a location and time to be determined.
The third type of meeting will be two community forums held on Tuesday, March 21*, and Thursday, March 30, at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Cole Middle School. Powell said that there could be a third community forum scheduled if the committee deems it necessary.
“These community forums in March are for us, the building committee, [an opportunity] to put forward the educational vision and show the plans,” said School Committee member Tim Munoz. “Can we have a discussion about the finances? Sure. But that’s not the main purpose of these meetings.The main purpose of these meetings is to build broad-scale awareness of what we want to do at the schools and why and what the options are on the table. The financial component of this will then be developed in School Committee and Town Council meetings over the course of April, May, and June, roughly.”
*The date for this session has been updated since the story originally posted.