By Glenn H. King
Every town has some buildings of which it is proud. East Greenwich has many of them such as the Varnum House, the Kentish Guard Armory and the Kent County Courthouse (now the Town Hall). One of the town’s icons is in trouble. It’s the James H. Eldredge School, located on First Avenue. A school building proposal under consideration would have Eldredge no longer used as a school. There has been some talk of tearing it down and replacing it with a new building for the town.
The school was named for Dr. James H. Eldredge to honor him for his civic activities. The school was built in 1929 and has 16 classrooms and a large gymnasium. In the past 95 years of providing education for the town’s youth, the school has touched the lives of over 3,000 students who attended the school taking classes from K to 8. One student went on to become a two-term governor of Rhode Island – Donald Carcieri.
If a survey/poll was taken of the former students and asked what should become of the school, I believe they all would say in a very loud voice, “Save the School.” To renovate the school is the best choice. The renovation would provide office space for many civic, historical and preservation organizations. The cost of the renovation should not be a big problem for the town taxpayers since East Greenwich has the honor of being the wealthiest town in Rhode Island. Save the school for the future.
Glenn H. King is a member of the Eldredge Class of 1943, among many other things.