Most of Bradford Elementary School’s 7 acres of land are permanently protected under the terms of a state land and water conservation fund program which the city has officially accepted and which guarantees the land will be used for public outdoor recreation. Given the small size of the remaining lot (about one-fifth of the total area and entirely within the Bradford Village Historic District) and the fixed overheads associated with an assisted living facility (staff, transportation, support, etc.), the Der Location is not a suitable location for such a facility. (In response to Mr. Stanczyk’s December 16 letter to the editor entitled “Build Assisted Living Units on Bradford School grounds.”) Additionally, the Bradford area has no public transport for accessing groceries , medical care and other services should be in the vicinity of such a facility.
While I agree that Westerly may need more assisted living units for seniors, these need to be well thought out and appropriate for the location. The Bradford [School] Playground, Franklin Field, Cimalore Field Addition and White Rock Park are federally protected properties reserved for public outdoor recreation only.
The Greater Bradford Community Development Association is in the early stages of developing a neighborhood plan for western Bradford. Part of this plan includes the former school site. To date, the most popular proposed use for the Bradford School site is as a multipurpose indoor recreation facility/community centre. Such a facility could share the existing parking lot in the Federal Conservation Area and complement both the outdoor recreation space and the neighborhood surrounding it.
Any other suggestions and ideas are welcome. With the above state restrictions in mind, suggestions are recommended for the most beneficial types of indoor and outdoor recreational and community activities that people would like to see on Bradford School grounds. These should cater to all ages and abilities of children, adults and families for all seasons indoors and outdoors.
Whilst the purpose of the GBCDA is to advocate for Greater Bradford 02808, which includes parts of Westerly, Charlestown and Hopkinton, anyone interested and particularly those across Westerly are encouraged to email their suggestions to [email protected] to submit.
The author is President of the Greater Bradford Community Development Association.