Providence Councilwoman Sabina Matos, Jose Marcano of JM Painting, Nelson Ferreira of TRAC Builders, and a volunteer of Building Futures take a break while repainting the William D’Abate Elementary School in Olneyville on July 20. In a day, more than 25 volunteers from Olneyville Housing and these companies and groups helped transform the outside of the building before children enter school this fall.
PROVIDENCE – General contractor TRAC Builders led a team of contributors in repainting the William D’Abate Elementary School in Olneyville on in late July.
“The outside now matches the magic of what happens inside our school,” said Principal Brent Kerman.
According to the company, which recently completed a large affordable housing project in the neighborhood, the school was a mix of different colors, covered with gang tags and in disrepair.
Contributors who donated inkind services on July 20, which the company declined to estimate the value of, included Christine Malecki Westof Kite Architects, who selected the colors; Benjamin Moore, which donated the paint; JM Painting, for donating labor; COSCO for donating a new guardrail for the front of the school; and American Aerial for donating lift equipment.
The Olneyville Housing Corporation brought the project to the contractor’s attention, the contractor said. Al Buco, coordinator of public property helped clean the school prior to painting. An Building Futures donated time to help with painting as well.
Providence City Councilor Sabina Matos thanked project volunteers for their work.
Olney Village apartments are concentrated around the school where 12 formerly foreclosed properties and several vacant lots along 6 residential blocks were transformed. The housing project required substantial renovations to be made to 11 existing buildings as well as 5 new construction buildings in previously vacant lots.
The new community spaces are occupied by the Olneyville Food Center, a food pantry providing emergency food provisions to more than 7,000 families per month as well as the Manton Avenue Project, a community group that mentors and teaches theater and playwriting skills to children.