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New Cole Leaves Some Hot Under The Collar

There is no air conditioning and the building's ventilation system is not yet fully operational.

School and building officials admit that the new Cole Middle School is warmer than it’s supposed to be, saying that the digital temperature control system is still being worked on.

“It’s never going to feel like an air-conditioned room would,” said Jon Winikur at the School Committee meeting Tuesday night. “But it should feel better than it does.”

Winikur reminded the School Committee that only certain areas of the new building have air conditioning, including the administration offices and the media center. The cost of cooling the entire building was deemed too expensive.

"There was a conscious decision not to air condition this building," he said.

However, he said, there is a ventilation system in place to provide air movement throughout the building. In fact, during the meeting, which was held in the Cole cafetorium, people mentioned that they could feel breezes.

But, as Winikur noted, that sort of mechanical ventilation will only help so much.

"Unless you’re standing in front of a blowing fan, you don’t feel cooler," he said for comparison.

In addition, the ventilation system is not yet fully functional, Winikur said. That is a by-product of the decision to move into the school in April.

“We knew near the [move-in date] that they were going to have trouble finishing that aspect of the project,” Winikur said. "We don't really have complete control."


“It’s hot but we’re hanging in there,” said Cole Principal Alexis Meyer on Wednesday. She said that parts of the second and third floors are warmer because they get more sun.

“They have fans and they are keeping the windows open and their shades are down” in those classrooms, she said. “We’ll be looking forward to Friday and a little bit cooler temperature.”

The end of the year frozen yogurt celebration for all the kids who’ve read at least 30 books is tomorrow at 1pm, just as temperatures are predicted to be reaching the mid 90s. Meyer said that, yes, the timing for that particular event couldn’t be better.

M Berg June 08, 2011 at 06:13 PM
I can’t wait to see the cost of maintaining this monstrosity with all its fancy solar panels, water recollection system and gadgets. If the track record(the town has never maintained anything) holds true, when all these things go on the fritz in the near future, as with other buildings in our town what the “true cost” of this new Cole will really be. It is people like Winikur and the architects that talk you into all these unneeded extras that bite you in the butt later on. Why did they have to build such a huge building anyway for a declining student population! What big deals.
L. Anusavice June 08, 2011 at 07:27 PM
The PA system that blasts outside is atrocious and needs to be inside only. There is no need for the residents surrounding Cole to have to hear morning announcements and the pledge of allegiance and students throughout the day being summoned to the office. This is truly an intrusion of our right to a peaceful existence.
Mutato June 08, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Wow. That's crazy!
lillibridgeresident June 08, 2011 at 11:03 PM
That is how it is living next to a school. i used to live next to Pilgrim HS in Warwick where we also heard the daily announcements etc.. if you think Cole's PA is annoying try living next to a city high school...
NATIVE 1950 June 09, 2011 at 03:26 PM
They should have never moved into the new building until all the major projects were finished. What the heck was the big hurry? I'm curious to see what the rest of this whole project will turn out like.
NATIVE 1950 June 09, 2011 at 04:21 PM
I really don't understand the reasoning behind the decision not to have A/C set up for the entire building. If your (the town) going spend the money to run a ventilation system and a A/C system, why not just cool the whole building. I'm with M. Berg, install a few more solar panels and run the A/C using the sun. Let's keep up the "GREEN" projects.
M Berg June 09, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Native, I’m not with you. We do not need any more spending in our town. When you build such a large building such as the new Cole, costs come with maintaining such a facility. With the town’s track record with all the other schools and town buildings and upkeep, I do not expect things to change. With the cost of all the recent projects (police, schools, swift gym) just wait and see how it will affect the taxes you will be paying and how it will affect the school budget. When more is needed to maintain such facilities and the current economic climate, it will have to come out of the school portion kitty as this is where the majority of your taxes go. This type of building that they built was not really thought out well considering the economic climate we have and is to come! As I say again “Big Deals” we have in our town.
NATIVE 1950 June 09, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Please!!! Taxes, Taxes, Taxes. Get into the pockets of these residents that live in those 800,000 dollar houses up in western part of the town. See if you can squeze a few more jingles out of them. I've lived here all of my life and I love this town but I'm getting so discouraged with the politics in this town ( the politics of the whole town in general) that I just want to move away to a different part of the country. As the saying goes if you can't beat them then join them. Well I refuse to join them.
M Berg June 09, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Native, the people you speak of are the transients who move to EG and want only the best for their “own” and move out of town and leave the bill to the rest of the loyal townies. These are the people who are on all the committees to build all these “state of the art” facilities and politicians and will bankrupt the rest of us resulting in having good citizens move away because they can no longer afford the bill. Just wait NATIVE the bill for all of this is right around the corner. Next will be the school committee going for an exemption of the minimum tax increase other wise known as the Caruolo Act. Just wait! The tax increases that will come will be unsustainable to the residents of this town.
M Berg June 09, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Native, I meant to say an exemption of the maximum tax increase!
La Dolce Vita June 09, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Not all of us who live on 'the western side of Route 2' live in large, expensive homes. And not all of us voted for a new police station, community center (that no longer accomodates Teen Night) and school that probably will not be maintained properly. However, this speaks of those who want a 'world class education' for their kids, and the town perks that go along with it.
M Berg June 09, 2011 at 11:07 PM
La Dolce Vita, I am assuming your kids went to East Greenwich Schools. This “World class education” you speak of does not stem from a huge building with all the bells and whistles but from parents (usually two..a Mom & Dad) who value education. You have fallen into the trap of throwing more money at education improves the students learning. I know that our school systems has some of the better scores in our state but fall far behind in other states such as MA. Do you want to really compare us to other countries…..please. I do not want to pick a fight but “world class education” is a joke in EG and taxing the residents into oblivion will not educate our kids any better. It all starts at home with parents who value knowledge not a fancy building and frills. That is the good life La Dolce Vita! The smarter idea would have been to build a new High School not a Middle School. Heck most of the residents of west of route 2 send their kids to private school anyway…..probably why all these people on these committees wanted a Middle School anyway. Just wait till the taxes take affect.
Michelle June 10, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Wow; I am surprised by the vitriolic tone of some of these comments. The old Cole was a dilapidated mess; investing in a new building was, well, and investment in both our children and our community overall. As with any new building or project, there are bound to be problems and issues. Thoughtful problem-solving and community-wide discussion of these issues (e.g., the PA system) seems like a much more constructive approach than general bashing. (Incidentally, I attended an old, dilapidated and poorly performing middle school in Massachusetts. I feel grateful to be able to provide my children with something far greater.)
NATIVE 1950 June 10, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Another tourist who has moved to E.G. wants everything to be hunky dory for there little darlings at the expense of the of the taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet as it is.
M Berg June 10, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Michelle, none of my comments are vitriolic or meant to be. The facts are the facts and some people do not want to face them. The only reason the old Cole was dilapidated was that the town did not take care of the building and actually let it get to that condition. If their track record holds true the same will happen to the monument they just built. I also feel grateful to be able to send your child to this new school, with my taxes, but grownups realize that sometimes you must live within your means……… spending the way the town has done in recent years in not sustainable and will result in cuts from the school budget which makes up most of the taxes. There is not a vitriolic word in what I say but the facts are the facts. Property taxes can’t just continue to go up 5% a year and put the burden on all the people who built this town. That is a selfish attitude to have.
Carolyn Cure June 10, 2011 at 05:16 PM
So much for civil discourse! By calling others names (tourist) and being sarcastic, your point Native 1950 gets lost. It's great to hear both sides of any issue but instead of trying to understand your point of view, the nasty delivery makes me think, "well just move then!"
Carolyn Cure June 10, 2011 at 05:18 PM
But then I move past that reaction and try to get the point that Mechelle brought up which is to have a thoughtful problem-solving and community-wide discussion of these issues. Maybe Native 1950 can do the same?
NATIVE 1950 June 10, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Carolyn Cure, are you a TOWNIE, or are you also someone who has moved here from another area of the country.(So sorry about using the word tourist, I guess it hurts to many feelings.)
Carl I. Hoyer June 11, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Cole notwithstanding, look at Eldredge School; like the Rock of Gibraltor ! Why? Perhaps because of the care given in maintaining it? And, then there's Meadowbrook School with water problems that started as soon as it was built (Note: a demographic "study" determined a new school was needed and after it was built, it was determined that it was not needed ! So much for "studies"). And, we continue to pour money into the problem, which seems incapable of solution. Reference is made to the police station, Swift gym, etc. Don't forget the $6,000,000 for new ( and upgrading ) fields, all of which being approved by the voters (those who took the time to vote, that is). Incidental note, among other nonsensical things, the Caito facilities report commented about moving all of the baseball diamonds so the sun wouldn't be in the batters' eyes . 'nuff said !
gladys_kravitz June 11, 2011 at 02:52 PM
La Dolce Vita, I concur completely with the new "community center". This was not supposed to be a money maker for the town, but they have raised their prices for rental to an amount that few can afford. Plus, you have to now have a town agent for $25 an hour for each hour you rent the space! Seniors are no longer allowed to bring their lunches (they must PURCHASE them), and no Teen Night. I think the new "community center" STINKS BIG TIME.

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