Public park behind B.F. Norton school?

Public park behind B.F. Norton school?

Residents' comments welcome at next Monday's meeting

CUMBERLAND - The town is calling on residents, particularly those living in Valley Falls, to comment on plans for a new community park adjacent to the playground at B.F. Norton School on Broad Street.

Improvements to the vacant land, where a farm league baseball diamond is located, will be outlined for residents, says Director of Planning and Community Development Kelley Morris.

Birchwood Design Group of Providence is preparing the ideas. Morris said a multi-purpose field and a track are currently contemplated along with the baseball diamond that would be turned about and made a bit smaller.

The town owns nearly four acres of land behind the school.

The meeting will take place on Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Town Council Chamber at Cumberland Town Hall, 45 Broad St.

Inquiries may be addressed to Kelley Morris at 401-728-2400 or kmorris@cumberlandri.org .

All who are interested are encouraged to attend, she said.

Civic Builders of New York, which is building the new charter school on the site of today's Currier Park, is picking up the design tab, according to Morris.

The town is applying for state grant funds to help cover the cost of construction.

This proposed park is not the replacement for Currier Park, she said.

The replacement park has been talked about at 35 Wildwood St. off Mendon Road, where the town purchased the Sousa family house that had been severely flooded by the overflowing Blackstone River.

In addition to those two sites, a community basketball court has been promised at the school site itself.

Comments

If this land is vacant, what is the gain from paving a basketball court, erecting a playground, and putting up a chainlink fence around it? The answer is MONEY! The REAL question should be WHO IS GETTING THE MONEY? How much money will be allotted for maintenance and upkeep for the facility EVERY YEAR? I guess I'm just getting old, but I do not understand why kids need a "complex" playground to have fun. My friends and I climbed trees, rolled down grassy hills, fished for kivers, rode our bikes ANYWHERE we could. I don't see the need...unless I'm getting the money.

I find this proposal interesting, and while I am not necessarily against it, it leads to some questions. The first would be about parking, the lot at B. F. Norton is already too small for the schools' use, would the parking lot be expanded and if so, where/how?

The next question that comes to mind is would the park be closed to public access during school hours for student safety? The school playground is not available for public use during school hours, which it shouldn't be, how about a public park?

Third, the PE instructors use the baseball field area during nice weather for classes, would there still be space available for them to use?

Next, a public park would bring more visitors to the school, which would likely mean more people using the school playground area. Who would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the school playground? There was a repair that needed to be made this past school year, and no one wanted to take responsibility, due to cost and potential liability, in the meantime it was unsafe for the students to use. Last I checked, there was a temporary repair made, however, increased traffic will lead to more issues. It was difficult to just get a trash can placed at the playground, and without it the litter is awful...

Also, with increased traffic, will police patrols increase? There is limited lighting and unfortunately vandalism to the playground, the school and cars in the lot have happened. Will patrols be increased to help combat that?

These are just some of the questions that came to mind when I read the article, and I would need answers before I could completely support such a project...

OMG....relax people it's a playground. They aren't building a new Gillett Stadium....why oh why do we make everything good so darn complicated. they will build it and it will end up being used by the school only because THE ONLY PEOPLE TO USE THE OLD "PARK" was adults from out of town.