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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Aldermen ask mayor to change school plan

NEWTON

Five aldermen are asking the mayor to reconsider his support for a site plan for a new Newton North High School “to avoid a drawn out ballot campaign with an uncertain outcome.”

In an Oct. 13 memo, the aldermen -- Amy Sangiolo, Kenneth Parker, George Mansfield, Paul Coletti, and Jay Harney -- requested that Mayor David B. Cohen encourage architects to draw up an alternative plan that is less expensive and avoids what they see as some of the problems with the current plan.

If the beginning sketches for an alternative plan were ready in time for the board’s Nov. 6 meeting, they could move forward on that design, the five aldermen say in the missive.

The plea came as aldermen are poised to reconsider the site plan they already approved for a new building estimated to cost $140 million to $165 million.

A petition campaign forced the board to either rescind the plan or reaffirm their earlier vote. A failure to rescind would require the question to be put before voters. The board has until Nov. 5, or 30 days from the official count of the signatures from the campaign, to reconsider the site plan. They could act as early as Monday night.

-- Connie Paige

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