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Concord, Carlisle voters pass tax increase for new high school

Posted by Leslie Anderson  November 15, 2011 09:32 PM

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After more than 12 years of planning, Concord and Carlisle will have a new high school in 2015.

Residents in the two towns voted at the polls today to support a tax increase to pay for a new $92.5 million Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.

In both towns, 84 percent of the voters supported the Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion, while 16 percent were opposed. In Concord the vote was 3,571 to 659 in favor, while Carlisle voted 965 to 184.

“On behalf of all the building committee and school committee members over the past 12 years, I would like the thank the citizens of Concord and Carlisle for their overwhelming support of education,’’ said Jerry Wedge, a member of the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee and the high school building committee.

Taxes will go up by as much as $700 in Carlisle and nearly $400 in Concord on the average home to pay for the school and build a separate physical education facility.

The new school will replace a 50-year-old building that needed upgrades to the roof, windows, boilers, heating, ventilation, electrical and gas distribution systems, and additional and improved education space.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits schools, has placed Concord-Carlisle on “warning’’ for the condition of its building. A failure to make significant progress to address the concerns could have led to the school being placed on probation, putting its accreditation at risk.

The state will contribute $28 million toward the building project while Concord will pay $47.1 million and Carlisle, $17.1 million. After the design is completed, construction could begin in early 2013 and the building could open in the fall of 2015.

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