Well, itâs finally happened. By the time you read this weâll know whether Dr. Phil Thornton is going to stick around as the superintendent of North Kingstown schools.
He came into the job as the unanimous choice of the school committee with members like Melvoid Benson and the late Doug Roth singing his praises. Dr. Thornton has made it plain that if he goes out it will be largely due to the rancorous relationship with âsome membersâ of the committee.
By DAVID PEPIN
While the athletic fields at East Greenwich High School have received a major facelift the bad two years, the dugouts on the baseball diamonds have remained lingering blemishes.
John Mahoney and the Diamond Baseball Club, a group of baseball team parents and boosters, are hoping to change that.
Mahoney briefed the School Committee Tuesday night on his groupâs plans to improve the dugouts, lengthening them and building cinderblock structures and roofs. The current dugouts offer a fence, a bench and little else, or as Mahoney put it, âa metal cage.â
âItâs a great facility, but these dugouts donât fit the bill right now,â he said.
Without taking a formal vote, the committee gave its blessing to the plan. Chairwoman Deidre Gifford referred Mahoney to the Fields Committee, which Superintendent Victor Mercurio plans to convene next month to review plans for the dugout construction with an eye toward School Committee approval at its Aug. 16 meeting.
Mahoney said if the go-ahead is given then and details such as a construction plan and liability insurance are finalized, he and a group of parents can have the varsity field dugouts built by the beginning of November. He said they have raised $2,500 already, with each dugoutâs cost estimated between $4-5,000.
Gifford said use of the town impact fee fund, which is covering the cost of the new concession stand being built at the football field, is also a possibility.
The new dugouts are necessary for safety reasons, he said â from disturbances both climatological and parental.
âThereâs no privacy in these dugouts for the coach to talk to a player. The first game we were able to use the varsity field last year, we had a situation where a parent got into it with a coach and the police had to be called,â said Mahoney.
Another reason covered dugouts are needed, he said, is the baseball fieldsâ location, about a quarter-mile from the school building.