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    Pentucket launches website for school building project

    Pentucket Regional School District officials recently launched a website to provide more information about a proposed middle and high school building project that will be coming before voters of its three towns this spring.

    At the annual town meetings in Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury on April 29, residents will consider authorizing funding for the estimated $146.3 million project, subject to passage of debt exclusions that will appear on their respective ballots on May 6. To move forward, the project needs to be approved by all three towns, in both votes.

    The website, pentucketproject.com, will act as an official source of information for residents in the three towns as they prepare to vote.

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    “We’re excited to share this website as an official resource for residents looking to learn more about the project,” School Superintendent Justin Bartholomew said in a statement. “It’s important going into town meetings and ballot votes that residents know all the facts about the project, the concerns facing the current middle and high school buildings, and how the details of this project came to be.”

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    The proposed new regional seventh-through-12th-grade school would replace the existing middle and high schools, which were built, respectively, in 1967 and 1956. Officials said both school buildings are aging and face significant facility issues. They said combining the two schools in a single, new three-story building would be more cost effective than constructing two separate schools.

    The Massachusetts School Building Authority would fund approximately 40 percent of eligible costs. Passage of the debt exclusion would add $745 to the average homeowner’s tax bill in Groveland, $734 to the average bill in Merrimac, and $755 to the average bill in West Newbury.

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