Amherst school merger failed to pass in town-wide referendum

2,746 residents voted in favor of the 67 million dollar project

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

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Town of Amherst decided Tuesday they will not be getting a new elementary school anytime soon.

Now that the question of combining Wildwood Elementary School and Fort River Elementary School has failed in a town-wide referendum, it’s off the table until at least 2019.

The Town Meeting had already rejected the state funding twice already, which would have paid for half of the project of combining the two elementary schools, but enough signatures were collected for the proposal to be sent to a town-wide referendum Tuesday.

The majority of voters who cast ballots did vote to approve the project, but the majority wasn’t large enough.

The vote was close– 2,746 residents voted in favor of the 67 million dollar project, while 2,147 residents voted against it.

In order for the proposal to pass, it needed at least 18 percent of active voters to approve it, which they were more than 200 votes shy of. The “Yes” votes also needed to make up two-thirds of everyone who voted on the question.

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