Tuesday, January 23, 2007
After almost eight years of designs, cost estimates, and controversy, voters in Newton will decide today whether construction should proceed on a $151 million building that would be the most expensive public high school in the state.
The proposed design on today’s ballot has a glass-walled cafeteria at the center of a 400,000 square-foot building and includes a 2,000-seat football stadium, two theaters, and large science labs.
Proponents of the plan include Mayor David B. Cohen, who wants to cap spending on the new school at $141 million. Cohen says the city can afford the investment without taking on debt-related tax increases.
Some critics charge that the project would drain away needed money from elementary schools and neglected fire houses and want a less expensive building. Others foes want to relocate the school’s proposed entrances and reconfigure traffic patterns.
Some opponents, who want to derail Newton North completely, see today’s referendum as a way to finally stop the project in its tracks.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will stay open to 8 p.m. Full-size copies of the plans for Newton North can be inspected at the City Clerk's office until 8 p.m. Call the city election department at 617-796-1350 with any questions.
After the polls close, check boston.com for the results.
-- Andrew Ryan