New life for Amherst school project rejected

If approved, the town would pay for half the $67-million project

Artistic rendering of the new proposed elementary school that would replace the Wildwood and Fort River Elementary Schools.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst Town Meeting rejected a voter-approved property tax hike to help combine Wildwood and Fort River Elementary Schools,

However, now there’s an effort to revive the proposal. A group of parents has collected more than twice the signatures needed to schedule another special town meeting to reconsider the project.

The proposed new school would replace and combine the existing schools, which don’t comply with the American with Disabilities Act.

If it fails again, Amherst School Superintendent Michael Morris said the alternative is much more complicated and expensive; “If we were to renovate, we need to find a place to put kids for a couple of years. And so I think the challenge is, if it doesn’t pass, we still have the same problems we have, and now we don’t have the funding to manage it.”

If approved, the town would pay for half the $67-million project. The other half would come from the state.