Somerville votes to fund the priciest school in state history


The Boston Globe | By John Laidler
November 8, 2016

somerville-highWhen they cast their ballots for president on Tuesday, Somerville residents also voted to fund the highest-priced school building project in Massachusetts history.
The $257 million plan calls for building a 1,590-student high school on the site of the current school on Highland Avenue.

The $198.5 million Newton North High School, completed in 2010, is currently the state’s most expensive building project.
By a vote of 26,236 to 10,153, Somerville residents overwhelmingly approved a debt exclusion, or temporary tax increase, to fund $130.3 million of the city’s projected $137 million share of the project.
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The added annual taxes for an average single-family home will rise gradually to a maximum of $294 in fiscal 2027, and then, starting in about fiscal 2047, gradually fall to zero in fiscal 2054.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board is set to vote in February on approving the agency’s estimated $120 million share of the project.

About 300 volunteers from the Campaign for Somerville’s Future, a ballot committee advocating a “Yes” vote, reached out to voters through door-to-door canvassing, neighborhood meetings, and social media, said its chairman, Howard E. Horton.

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