NORTH KINGSTOWN — At Tuesday evening’s planning commission meeting, residents expressed their concerns regarding proposed Comprehensive Plan and zoning changes which would allow Wickford Elementary School to be renovated as a hotel and conference staging structure.
Last month, the town entered into a purchase option agreement with Stanley Weiss Associates, LLC, to redevelop WES, which has been closed since 2005.
The building’s future use has been a much debated topic over the past several years as the town went through several iterations about how the former school should be best developed. Stanley Weirs, a well-known developer throughout Rhode Island, will transform the elementary school into a multipurpose conference and hotel space, slated to hold 30 to 40 rooms.
The planning department has proposed changing the zoning designation of the WES property, the defunct Wickford Theater property opposite on Phillips Street, and a number of surrounding residential properties, from the current high density residential to what is called ‘neighborhood commercial’ in the Comprehensive Plan.
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