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Saturday, February 17, 2007

High price for High Rock

NEEDHAM

Preliminary cost estimates for the renovation of High Rock school have thrown a wrench in the the town's plans, with some Selectmen wondering whether the town should consider other alternatives to relieve the space crunch at Pollard Middle School.

School officials last week unveiled estimates between $19 and $22 million. The Selectmen were hoping for construction costs of $14 million or less.

Selectmen have until March 6 to vote to put an override on the April 10 ballot, but selectman James G. Healy has suggested that the School Committee postpone the decision for another year and apply for reimbursements from the Massachusetts School Building Authority. Healy also suggested that officials reconsider a more basic, $7.5 million renovation plan that the School Committee rejected as a a less-than viable long-term solution.

Selectmen John A. Bulian, meanwhile, has suggested that the School Committee “switch gears” and consider planning for a new middle school at DeFazio Park.

-- Lauren K. Meade

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