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Weeden no longer option as an academy

July 22, 2012

PAWTUCKET — The historic Weeden Manor property at 11 Walnut St. is no longer being considered as an academy for foreign exchange students and is back on the market.
The 9,390-square-foot Darius Goff House was close to being purchased by two business partners for use as a boarding school and educational facility. Benjamin Ben Tre and Basil Lee are founders of the Roosevelt International Academy, a program that offers students from China and other foreign countries a place to live and be mentored while attending local private and public high schools.
Earlier this year, Ben Tre and Lee had begun the process of purchasing the 17-room house to use for the international boarding school. The pair had held a neighborhood meeting in May and had received a certificate of zoning compliance from the city's Division of Zoning and Code Enforcement and a tavern license from the City Council (which was the category of license needed for that type of lodging facility even though alcohol was not going to be served).
Ben Tre had told neighbors and city officials that the first group of 14 students from China would be arriving on August 1 and would be attending St. Raphael Academy as part of a collaborative program with the private school. He had said that some renovations would be necessary to bring the house up to code, but that the work would be done in keeping with the property's historical architecture.

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