New access road addresses Centredale School complaints

New access road addresses Centredale School complaints

Town and school officials show off Centredale School's new access road, right. Officials, from left, are Deputy Public Works Director Bernie Salvatore, Centredale School Principal Joan Piccardi, Supt. Melinda Smith, Building Supervisor Jim Fuoroli and Mayor Charles Lombardi. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

NORTH PROVIDENCE - The longtime traffic headache at Centredale Elementary School should finally come to an end in 2014-2015, say town and school officials, with a new traffic configuration set to address the problems there.

Few issues have drawn more complaints than the congestion at this neighborhood elementary school, said Supt. Melinda Smith, and a new one-way access road installed by town workers in time for the start of the school year this week should put an end to the frustration for everyone involved.

To this point, cars and buses have parked along Angell Avenue on school mornings, with school staff forced to go get students and walk them up to the school.

The pattern has always made for a chaotic situation, said Centredale Principal Joan Piccardi, especially during the snowy winter months. The problem grew worse as Greystone Elementary School filled to capacity over the past few years and more students had to be transferred to Centredale, said Piccardi. Those students meant more buses were also coming.

A new access road will allow both cars and buses to drive one way toward the right side of the school, where drivers will then drop students off and be able to drive one way back off the property.

The project needed to get done for the benefit of parents, staff, students and neighbors, who had long complained about all the congestion, said Mayor Charles Lombardi.

"This was the biggest nightmare of all our schools," said Lombardi. "It's been a colossal mess."

According to Smith, school officials have paid a big price for the traffic problems here, hiring police details and additional crossing guards to help direct vehicle and foot traffic.

The goal in the early days of the 2014-2015 school year is to educate parents and students about the new configuration, said Smith. Extra staff will be outside making sure everything is running smoothly, she said.

The new configuration will help traffic congestion on both sides of the school, said Lombardi, as drivers will likely not go down South Brookside Avenue to the back side of the building as often.

"It's much more convenient for parents and much safer for all the students," said the mayor.

The new access road allows for a backup of about 13 vehicles, said Lombardi, meaning all those cars will be on school property instead of parked in the surrounding neighborhood.

Lombardi said the cost for the project was small, as all work was done by town employees. The total cost of the road once final paving is done will be about $3,500, said Lombardi and building supervisor Jim Fuoroli, well short of the estimated $20,000 or more to have the job done by a private contractor.

Officials said the new road configuration has been a "collaborative" effort between town and school employees from the beginning. The fix is another example of the effectiveness of a new combined town/school maintenance department, said Smith.

"Every time we have a need, it just gets fixed," she said.

A large stone that had been lodged in the ground where the new road was installed has been moved to the middle of the traffic circle, and flowers have been planted around it. Students from North Providence High School will be recruited to turn the boulder into a work of art.

Comments

Will the Mayor be attending the school for superintendents with Mrs. Smith? Maybe he should just go since it seems he does both jobs anyway.

What a dum comment "Every time we have a need, it just gets fixed," she (Smith) said." That's the way it should be, especially when it involves safety and students. Everyone in NP should be glad that the Mayor stepped in and is now running the school department. It's too bad we still have to pay the high salary of the useless superintendent.

Georgia don't you and your puppets have better things to do than harass the Mayor and Superintendent, grow up your making a fool out of yourself.

I'd like to know why comments can only be made on certain articles.
Like, why can't anyone comment on the fact that Goho was named the assistant principal at Birchwood? I'm sure the town searched long and hard to find the right candidate for that position. Oh wait, let's just take the wife of the high school principal. No inside politics there.
Secondly, regarding Ken Amoriggi. When the town had a special election for the criminals, Ken ran as a republican. Perfectly fine, but in this idiotic town, he only received about 30 or so votes. Then he more recently ran for the position again in the past year or two, and ran as an independent. Again perfectly fine, and his vote total increased slightly. Now he's running again for the same position and guess what........he's a democrat now!! Really? Who can blame him for the games he's playing. Nobody in town even knows they can vote for someone other than a democrat. And people wonder why I hate politics so much. It's a complete joke.