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Portsmouth Council To Research Costs for Demolishing Former Elmhurst School

The Portsmouth Town Council must decide by August if a ballot question will be put forth to voters.

The Portsmouth Town Council took two major steps towards the future use of the  on Tuesday night. 

The council heard a presentation from , which has been working to develop plans for the closed building. 

The Elmhurst Elementary School closed in 2009 in order to cut costs. The town is now debating the future of the waterfront property next to .

On Tuesday, the town council voted to direct Town Administrator John Klimm and Finance Director David Faucher to develop a request for proposal or RFP. 

The RFP will be for the "removal of the Elmhurst school property, exclusive of the manor house and chapel; removal of the building; reshaping of the land; and hydro-feeding," according to meeting minutes. 

The vote was 6-0 with member Michael Buddemyer absent. 

The RFP will help the council "determine costs" for the removal of this property, Klimm said Wednesday. The council will still need to vote on its removal. 

By state law, the council also must decided by Aug. 8 if they want to add a referendum question to the November election ballot. The referendum question would ask voters if they approve of the removal of this school building. 

The council also voted Tuesday to direct Klimm, the town solicitor and member of Elmhurst Reuse Committee to work with the to develop a contract. 

The ALT has expressed interest in conserving this waterfront property. The council would still need to vote in approval of such a contract. 

The vote was 4-1 with Paul Kesson opposed and Liz Pedro abstained. 

Chris Carceller May 23, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I think it's a great idea to remove the building especially since the Land Trust has stated that they would give the town $1million to do it if they made it into a park. The school has been vandalized over the years and is in terrible shape. It would cost us too much money to fix the building, and I don't think we should give up this wonderful piece of public property.
Elizabeth K May 23, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I am glad to hear of the strong support in preserving this space for public use. It's a beautiful piece of property which could be a great benefit to the town.
Katherine G May 24, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Much of the Glen is currently used for sports fields. The Aquidneck Land Trust is proposing a waterfront park that includes gazebos, picnic tables, and park benches. This would create more passive recreational opportunities and allow a wider range of people to enjoy the public space.
Julia Coll May 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Conserving the Glen is a wonderful idea! Everyone in the town of Portsmouth would benefit by having a water front park. The Aquidneck Land Trust's proposal will create something of priceless value that will benefit the community for current and future generations.
Island Porkrunner May 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM
can the land be given to the trust and the school turned into a skatepark???
Adams May 25, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Portsmouth will get a beautiful waterfront park and the Aquidneck Land Trust will pay to help do that! Sounds like a great way to improve the quality of life and make Portsmouth even more desirable to live in. I would like a chance to vote on this ASAP!
nun May 25, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Sad to see it go but it's time came and went. What a beautiful experience it was for so many kids. How many folks can say they attended a waterfront school? I agree that the best option now is removal of the school building. I just wish the town would find a way (a respectable way) to generate revenue from it. I don't mean selling off the land to developers but instead, maybe a sailing school, small marina or expand the Glen Manor operation. We really need new sources of revenue. Wouldn't it be nice if the demise of this school helped pay for a new school to replace it elsewhere in the town?
R. Hill May 25, 2012 at 06:51 PM
The Aquidneck Land Trust's proposal to create a water front park for the entire Portsmouth community to enjoy is priceless. I would like an opportunity to vote in favor of the park in the upcoming election.
Mary Moniz June 07, 2012 at 03:14 PM
This is a great idea. The Glen should be enjoyed by all citizens. Our parks define our quality of life on this Island, and the addition of a beautiful waterfront park makes good economic sense. Visitors come to this grand Island just to enjoy a moment of the quality of life that we are trusting for future generations. Mary Moniz AIPC Chairman

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