Framingham voters to weigh tax increase for new middle school
Framingham residents head to the polls on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to take up a proposed tax increase for the construction of a new Fuller Middle School.
In a special election, voters will consider a debt exclusion to fund borrowing the city’s share of the estimated $98.3 million building plan.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority in October agreed to reimburse the district for 62.3 percent of the project’s eligible costs, or up to $39.45 million, leaving the city’s estimated share at $58.8 million.
The state board’s action followed a unanimous vote by the Framingham City Council the previous day authorizing funding for the project subject to passage of the debt exclusion, which would add $101 to the annual tax bill of an average single-family home for 20 years.
On Nov. 13, the School Committee voted unanimously to endorse the ballot question, according to David Miles, cochairman of the School Building Committee.
The project calls for a new 630-student school for grades 6 through 8 next to the site of the existing facility on Flagg Drive, which would be demolished after the new school building is completed.
Officials say the current 60-year-old school suffers from outmoded electrical and plumbing systems; structural erosion; deficiencies with its roof and windows; inadequate access for people with disabilities; and a layout that does not meet the needs of a modern middle school.
The planned three-story school would feature a learning commons/cafeteria at the core surrounded by balconies fronting a perimeter of classrooms, an 8,300-square-foot gymnasium, and a 420-seat auditorium.