Globe Local

FRAMINGHAM

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.

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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.

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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.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.