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Selectmen Vote to Preliminarily Support CCHS Building Project

The Board voted last night to support the project prior to the Oct. 27 public hearing.

Last night, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted in support of — for now.

Chairman Elise Woodward said it is a bit unorthodox for the board to take a position before they've heard all of the discussion on an issue, so last night's vote was considered "a preliminary vote of support." There will be a public hearing regarding the CCHS proposal and other Town Meeting warrant articles on Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Town House.

As it stands right now though, all of the selectmen agree that the project is the most fiscally responsible choice given the options in regard to improving the condition of the school.

"Everything I've seen about it is positive," Selectman Jeffery Wieand said. "I can't imagine what we would do without these MSBA funds."

The Massachusetts School Building Authority has pledged a reimbursement of $28 million for the estimated $92.5 million project.

"Ignoring a $28 million-plus contribution from the state means we would end up building or rebuilding the high school on our own dollar without the state contribution, and those funds would have to be approved as well because the amount would be debt excluded in the end," Woodward said.

Selectman Gregory Howes said he has listened to people's such a project would have on the town, but that "not building a high school does not respond effectively to the concerns of that group."

Residents have also raised concerns about the impact the proposed project would have on busing. More information on that should be available soon.

Even if the town opts out of building new, millions of dollars would still have to be put into the school just to keep it afloat.

"I participated in a tour of the high school that the principal gave … and the problems are myriad," Selectman Carmin Reiss said. "The school indeed would be at risk of losing accreditation if substantial measures are not taken there."


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