The letter seems straight forward enough … The standard “get the stakeholders involved” “let’s document the process” … although involving the general public thing? Given the track record of the Grebien Administration, and his quislings in the Pawtucket City Council? Transparency is a pretty foreign concept in Pawtucket. See: APRA Budget, Tidewater Landing Funding, the City Hall Tower, and on & on …

But here are the real issues:

The deadline for Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) approval for school renovations is in FEBRUARY … of 2023 (As in next month). From our article published on December 20th:

02/23: Deadline for Approval by RIDE For Shea High School Remediation

10/01/23: Due Date-NEASC Special Progress Report on High School Building Project/Actions Taken to Remediate the Current Deficiencies of Shea HS

Summary: Pawtucket is simply running out of time to meet the necessary deadlines to avoid the loss of its all important Accreditation.

Of course, Shea High School was to “undergo the knife”, receive its’ needed repairs, until a rumored meeting between RIDE Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green & Mayor Grebien put the kibosh on the scheduled Shea closing literally at the last moment … so, as alleged, The Don could advocate for the Unified.

The letter goes on to cite the need to discuss the funding source for the repairs …. The repairs for Shea High School were included in a Bond Issue in 2018! Please do not confuse this the Bond Issue approved by taxpayers this past November. That money is “allegedly” purposed for the construction of the Unified High School.

So why all the chaos? Simply fix Shea, and get on with the process to build the new High School?

Once again, to the ever-present rumor mill … The City of Pawtucket simply does not have the cash flow to simultaneously service both the bond debt on the 2018 school repair bond, and the debt necessary to build the new high school.

I guess if the City of Pawtucket actually was able to fill the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) job, with a financial professional … the answers would be forthcoming. But the mass exodus that took place last year from 137 Roosevelt Avenue has left City Hall operating on a skeleton crew.

For the record, your Reporter has attempted to follow up on all of these issues. The City of Pawtucket will not respond to simple questions, instead availing itself of virtually every delay possible under the Rhode Island APRA “Access to Public Records Act” laws.

Even more stunning?

I personally visited the Pawtucket School District Administrative Headquarters last Thursday, November 29. I think the term I am searching for is “Ghost Town”. Fill in Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent Lisa Ramzi was nowhere to be found, nor has responded to a request for followup. The ranking “Officer on Duty” was Mr. Lamel Moore, Community & Partnership Liaison, who, while thoroughly professional, was unable to respond to any substantive questions.

School Committee Chair Erin Dube has referred inquiries to City Solicitor Frank Milos.

Not exactly a “War Footing”, considering the Pawtucket School Department currently maintains facilities that require space heaters, and is facing the loss of its accreditation.

But you are getting a Soccer Stadium, right?

Prior Articles on the Shea High School Crisis:

Is The Rhode Island Department of Education Blocking Critical Safety Repairs at Shea High School? Joanne Bonollo-Pawtucket School Board Speaks Out — Space Heaters/Electrical Issues: Pawtucket Shea High Crisis Continues! – Coalition Radio Network

Disastrous Pawtucket Schools Star Report Issued By Rhode Island Department of Education – Coalition Radio Network

Breaking! Pawtucket’s Shea High School Placed On Formal Warning By New England Association Of Schools & Colleges, Safety Issues Endanger Accredidation – Coalition Radio Network

 

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