Vacant Warwick school being demolished, making way for new development

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Demolition of the former Christopher Rhodes Elementary School on Sherwood Avenue in Warwick began Thursday morning.

The school closed in 2008 due to declining enrollment, according to the city, and since then, the building has been rotting, targeted by vandals and become a “nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood.”

The city says the 10-acre property was sold to developer Hugh Fisher of H.A. Fisher Homes for $325,000.

“The demolition is the last step in the process to transform this property into a vibrant, new residential development,” Mayor Joseph Solomon said.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Councilman Jeremy Rix said he is thrilled about the recent developments.

“Blight is being transformed into a beautiful addition to a wonderful neighborhood!” he said. “We wouldn’t have such a positive result without the work of Mayor Solomon and the planning department.”

So, what’s to come?

New residential development with 30 single-family homes.

“This project also puts the property on the tax rolls,” Solomon added.

“I thank Hugh Fisher and his team for their vision for the area and for working cooperatively with my administration and councilman Rix to address issues of concern through this process,” he continued.

The city says the new homes will generate more than $200,000 annually in property taxes.

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