The North Smithfield Heritage Association Announces New Restoration Grants
Beth Faricy, Chairman of the Grant Committee, announced today that the NSHA has received four new grants totaling $64,250 to continue its restoration of the historic Forestdale School. The North Smithfield Ambulance Association awarded a $2,500 grant, Senator Melissa Murray secured a $4,000 RI Legislative Grant, the 1772 Foundation (part of Preserve Rhode Island) awarded a $10,000 matching grant, and the Champlin Foundation awarded a $47,750 grant. The NSHA will use these grants to replace the roof, build a new emergency exit stairway, complete window restoration as well as continue to replace outdated electrical circuits.
The one-room school was built in 1877 with funds procured from a lottery. It operated until 1974 when the school department ended classes there. It’s one of two historic town-owned buildings that the Association leases from the town for $1 a year. On behalf of the NSHA, Mrs. Faricy extends her sincere appreciation to all the donor organizations, as well as the Town of North Smithfield, who has also appropriated funds for the building’s restoration over the past several years. Without their encouragement and financial support, this project could not happen.
The NSHA began the project in 2016 when it used a grant from the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission to hire the Brewster Thornton Architectural Firm to develop a master restoration plan. Subsequent grants funded structural repairs, emergency electrical repairs, exterior restoration of painted surfaces, and most recently, a connection to the municipal water system. The new grants will complete all exterior components of the master plan except a replacement cupola and connection to the town sewer system. The next phase of the restoration will address the interior components of the master plan that include a new climate control system, new electrical circuits, as well as refinishing ceiling, wall, and floor surfaces.