Preserving RI’s Historic School Buildings One Brick at a Time
By: Melissa Randall
CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE-TV)— It's no secret Rhode Island’s school buildings are in rough shape, but not everyone is ready to give up on them. A local teacher is making it his mission to show people the hidden beauty they have to offer. And he's doing it all with Lego's.
“It's difficult for people to not smile a little bit at something in Lego and that's kind of what I wanted,” said Andrew Grover, the artist.
Grover has spent far too many hours to count recreating the buildings out of thousands of the tiny plastic bricks. For the Warwick man, showcasing their hidden beauty is a true labor of love.
“I would even go as far as to say—and it may sound a little crazy—but I would put them on par with a lot of the mansions around here, like in the attention to what was done and how they were built,” he explained.
Grover was saddened when Warwick’s Gorton and Aldrich schools were closed as part of the school consolidation plan. He spent a lot of time getting the details of that just right.
And now he's excited to show off the pieces. Over the weekend they were on display at the Cranston Library and in the coming weeks they will be at PVD Fest.
In doing so, he's also collecting local stories behind the hidden gems. Grover leaves out notebooks for people to leave comments about their experiences with the buildings. It’s all in an effort to get people thinking before more historic buildings shut their doors, for various reasons, including falling into disrepair.
“I would like Rhode islanders to look at a lot of the public school buildings that were built a few generations ago—what a magnificent job they did and there's no reason that these buildings can't still be in excellent shape,” he explained.