Paolino sells Cherry & Webb building to performing arts school

THE CHERRY & Webb building, at 275 Westminster St., has been sold. / PBN FILE PHOTO/KATE TALERICO
THE CHERRY & Webb building, at 275 Westminster St., has been sold. / PBN FILE PHOTO/KATE TALERICO

PROVIDENCE – After nearly 10 years and three leased locations, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts charter school this fall will move into a newly purchased building on Westminster Street.

The nonprofit charter school on May 29 purchased the five-story building at 275 Westminster St. for $4.6 million, according to city records.

The building was sold by 275 Westminster Partners LLC, which is owned by former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino Jr. He purchased the building for $2.4 million in February 2014, according to city records.

For the past several years, the 200-student school had leased space in another Paolino building, at 150 Washington St. The school, which opened in 2010, educates students from Providence in grades seven through 12.

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In the new location, the former Cherry & Webb Building, Trinity Academy will occupy four of the five floors.  The structure dates to 1900 and last had a street-level tenant several years ago.

City Year and FirstWorks, two nonprofits, will continue to lease their space on the fifth floor, said Andrew MacMannis, assistant head of school, for the performing arts charter.

The renovations to accommodate the charter school will take place over the summer, with the move anticipated by the September start of school, MacMannis said.

Renovations will be conducted by general contractor Bowerman Associates, of Providence. The architect is Studio Meja, also of Providence.

Once complete, the move and renovations will enable the charter school to have its own performance space, and an opportunity to invite the community in to see performances. The work also will create new spaces for dance studios, film labs and music space.

“What’s exciting for us is we can begin building out performance spaces for our students,” MacMannis said. “We’ve always been a performing arts school that has had to perform every where but our own school.”

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.