October 7, 2008

Falmouth to Vote Tuesday on $46 Million School


A proposed $46 million elementary school will go before Falmouth voters in a special election Tuesday.

If approved by voters, the state would fund just over $40 million and the town would contribute just under $6 million.

According to Superintendent George Entwistle, the school is designed to handle 920 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 5. It would replace the two elementary schools, Lunt School and Plummer-Motz School, and would move the fifth-graders out of the middle school.

"I think the community understands that this is a pretty fabulous opportunity for Falmouth to really fully resolve the elementary facilities problems that we have right now, and it also goes a long way to improving conditions at our middle school by reducing the population there by 25 percent," said Entwistle.

Both elementary schools are old and cramped, with additional space and modular units being used, said Entwistle. If approved, the elementary schools would revert to town ownership.

If the vote passes Tuesday, the school system would like to start on the project quickly, possibly having students in the school in 2011, said Entwistle. The school would be built on Woodville Road, near Falmouth's central school complex.

The elementary school would be able to share outdoor space and athletic fields, said Entwistle. Part of the local money voters are being asked to approve would go toward upgrades of those fields, he said.

Another part would go to environmentally friendly features at the school. The school's energy system would include a wood chip boiler sized to heat the new school and the high school, as well as geothermal and solar technology.

The town held the vote ahead of the general election to separate the decision to fund a new school away from other political questions, including the more-controversial Nov. 4 vote on whether to merge with School Administrative District 51, which includes Cumberland and North Yarmouth schools.

Entwistle said the state prefers that school building votes be held separately, and that part of the project funds be used to cover the costs of a special election.

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

[email protected]

Originally published by By MATT WICKENHEISER Staff Writer.

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