Board says no to Blackstone Valley Prep

Board says no to Blackstone Valley Prep

PAWTUCKET - Members of the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency last week rejected a proposal from Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy to lease the downtown's Chester Building for its new high school, which is set to open next fall.

PRA members had many concerns, among them that the building that currently houses the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center would not bring in revenue if it was used exclusively as a high school. They noted that a school might not be the best use for the property.

Representatives for Blackstone Valley Prep also indicated that they had other options for their school, according to PRA members.

Jeremy Chiappetta, executive director of the Cumberland-based public charter school, hinted after a Breeze story earlier this month on the school's interest in the property that the administrators' expressed interest might simply be "a negotiating strategy for a different property."

Blackstone Valley Prep officials have made no secret that their preferred destination for a new high school is Pawtucket, where the majority of the school's students come from. This year the charter school network opened new administrative offices in the Lorraine Mills on Mineral Spring Avenue.