To the Editor:
Schools are the bedrock of communities. It used to be that every town had schools integrated into the main hub of activity. As time has passed, community after community has seen their schools relocated to wide open spaces removed from the heart of their town. South Kingstown High School stands as one of the very few in-town high schools left in Rhode Island.
Before school, SK students grab coffee, a bagel or a smoothie and head to class. After school, they walk to jobs at nearby businesses. They shop at these businesses as well, go bowling down the street, have Phys Ed classes at Rock Spot Climbing, play ball at Old Mountain Field, among countless other things that help to make this unique relationship between our school and our town thriving and vibrant.
In 2018, citizens and business owners fought to keep Wakefield Elementary from closing for many of these same reasons despite walkable Peace Dale Elementary School being less than a mile away. The current school facility plan before us is even more dire. The High School generates orders of magnitude more business and foot traffic than an elementary school and affects every student in South Kingstown.
The planned closure of South Kingstown High School and corresponding work to construct the Frankenstein Curtis Corner School is ill-conceived. There are numerous reasons to oppose this plan, from the lack of attention to the elementary schools to the risk of losing renovations at the “newish” high school.
First and foremost, the decision to close the in-town high school and irreparably change the heart of our community without even an attempt at community involvement is shameful. As long time residents of this town, we should not watch our tax dollars be spent to tear this community apart. There has to be another way.
If you are a business owner or citizen who is concerned about the loss of our in-town high school, please contact us at email@example.com to learn more about how you can get involved in stopping this plan.
At the upcoming special election, we will be asked to approve this drastic change which will forever alter our beloved community. Join me at the polls and vote against the bond, together we can find a better path forward.