Wakefield voters in a special election Saturday overwhelmingly approved a temporary property tax increase to fund construction of a new Galvin Middle School.
The vote was 4,474 to 1,020, or 81.4 percent to 18.6 percent, according to Town Clerk Mary K. Galvin, in a turnout representing 33.2 percent of the town’s 16,533 registered voters.
The $73.96 million project calls for a 187,732-square-foot facility for fifth- to eighth-grade students to be built on the site of the existing middle school on Main Street. The Massachusetts School Building Authority has committed to reimbursing the town for 54.67 percent of eligible costs, or up to $34.69 million.
The Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion override approved by voters will add $188 to the annual tax bill for a single-family home with the town’s average assessment, about $400,000, in the 2014 fiscal year. Town Meeting approved the project last month.
“I'm extremely pleased at the results, at the overwhelming support of the community. I think it's going to be a great investment for our town and our students,’’ said Lisa A. Butler, a member of the School Committee and the town’s Permanent Building Committee.
“It seems to me this is a turning point for Wakefield. There has been a change in the attitude of the town,’’ she said. “People want to invest in our town and move us forward. I think this is a good barometer for that. People are thrilled.’’