Warren students pitch in to build bike racks

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They don't have a foundry of their own, but students at Kickemuit Middle School will soon have a hand in blacksmithing as they design steel bike racks for their school.

Warren has hired Steelyard, a Providence foundry, to make bike racks for middle schoolers as part of a larger goal to increase the number of kids who ride their bikes to school. The pieces will be designed over the winter with help from students and will likely be installed by springtime, Warren's town planner Caroline Wells said.

The Warren town council approved $6,000 for the project last month, and the funds will come from approximately $350,000 in grant money already secured by the town via a Safe Routes to School grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The bulk of that money will go toward building a bridge over the upper Kickemuit River at the so-called "Broken Bridge," which will connect the bike path behind the middle school with another path eventually leading to Metacom Avenue and beyond.

The Steelyard isn't new to Warren. Ms. Wells hired the foundry several years ago to build and install bike racks, trash receptacles and other items around downtown Warren.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.