Amherst trying to combine 2 elementary schools

The project would replace Fort River and Wildwood schools

Artist's rendering of the proposed new elementary school in Amherst.
Artist's rendering of the proposed new elementary school in Amherst.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst residents will vote on a ballot question that could increase their property taxes on Tuesday.

Amherst voters will decide on a debt exclusion to fund construction of a new $67-million elementary school. The new school would replace and combine the existing Fort River Elementary School and Wildwood Elementary School.

Interim Superintendent Michael Morris told 22News the schools do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and there are water leaks and mold.

“We have a plan to pay to replace both outdated aging schools and to provide equity in our district,” said Morris. “For me, it’s an investment that people are being asked to make is that’s going towards improving the educational outcomes and experiences for all of our students.”

If the town votes “Yes” on Question 5, Amherst will be responsible for more than $32-million. Debt exclusion means, residents would pay higher taxes, over a period of time, to cover the cost of construction.

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