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Easthampton to vote on building new high school

By WGGB Staff

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Voters will be heading to the polls May 18 to decide the fate of a plan to construct a new Easthampton High School, which is something students and faculty at the existing building have said is needed.

Those in favor of the measure have argued the current building has started to show its age, and doesn’t meet the current or future needs of the students. Another concern those in favor of the project have expressed is accreditation. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges has issued a warning status to the high school that they may face probation if changes are not made to their current system.

If approved, the new high school would be constructed behind the current building at an estimated cost of more than $43 million. The state is expected to reimburse the community for nearly two-thirds off that cost.

However, the project would mean an increased tax bill for residents during a financially challenging time. The project would be financed with a 20-year bond, which would tack on an added expense for homeowners.