Members of the School Committee expressed disappointment at their July 20 meeting that the “No Trespassing” signs that were scheduled to be installed at the Greenwood School by the Fourth of July have not yet appeared.
The lack of signs has been a sore point for neighbors of the school, who complain that they frequently have to deal with unwanted gatherings behind the school in the summer. Without the signs, it is more difficult for the police to keep the area secure.
“The DPW told us that they would be up by the Fourth of July, I’m sure there is some reason why they’re not up, but it’s disappointing and unacceptable that they’re not at this point,” said committee member Anthony Guardia.
The lack of signage has caused safety concerns in the past, particularly during the summer when neighborhood youths on break have been observed to gather behind the school at night. At best, the youths play basketball or make noise, but at worst, the unwanted activity can include vandalism, drug use and dumpster fires, the complaints alledge. The signs will make it clear that no one is allowed to loiter or congregate in the area.
“It’s a very serious issue, we’ve had dozens of parents show up to state their concern, we promised them and we were promised that the signs would be up by now, and the fact that they’re not is disappointing and unacceptable," Guardia said.
The topic came up at the end of Wednesday night’s meeting when Guardia inquired about the signs and if they had been installed. Vice Chairman Tom Markham, III, said that they had not, drawing the ire of the rest of the committee members.
However, Rick Stinson, director of the Department of Public Works, said that he didn't know when the committee last checked the school, but the first round of signs had been installed on Tuesday, July 19, and the remaining signs will go up within the next week.
"We have them and we've put up some, but we still have others to be put up," he said. "There were signs up on Tuesday, and the rest should be up shortly."