North Providence officials call naming rights 'untapped resource'

North Providence High School

Naming rights can bring in a lot of money, and one local school district is considering selling those rights for its athletic fields, classrooms and schools.

The school committee held an open session on Wednesday evening to discuss the possibility, saying that it was an "untapped" resource often used by private schools and hospitals, but not with public schools here in Rhode Island.

"Tap a well that we think is huge. There's some money out there that we need to bring into our coffers," said Steven Andreozzi, who is a school committee member.

Andreozzi and Stephen Palmieri, another school committee member, tell NBC 10 they want to sell naming rights to bring in extra money for the district, rather than relying on taxpayers to make up for budget cuts.

"I'm a taxpayer. I live in North Providence, obviously, and my taxes are high," Palmieri said.

Palmieri said he thinks this could be a boost for the district, as long as the money is earmarked specifically to be used for students.

"If we run a deficit on something and have to tap into that money, I don't want to tap into that money. This is money people have given for a specific reason," Palmieri said.

Audience members at the open session listened closely but didn't make any comments during the meeting. Gary Arnold, who is a grandparent of two North Providence students, told NBC 10 he thinks the school district needs to have a better plan.

"They need to really understand what they can do and cannot do. That's what they don't have right now. They want to jump into it and they don't really have a plan to do it," Arnold said.