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Weymouth voters approve tax hike to build new middle school

Weymouth voters overwhelmingly agreed to a debt exclusion that will raise taxes to help pay for a new Maria Weston Chapman Middle School — the first time the town has ever approved any type of override.

The vote was 6,871 to 2,239 to borrow about $96 million more than the current debt limits set by the Proposition 2½ state law, a move officials said would cost the average homeowner about $250 a year more in property taxes for the length of time it takes to pay off the debt, projected to be 20 to 25 years.

Twenty-five percent of Weymouth’s registered voters voted on the April 30 ballot question.


The new school is estimated to cost about $163 million in total, with the Massachusetts School Building Authority expected to pick up about $57.3 million of the tab and the town contributing the rest —about $10 million — from within its allowed tax levy.

The new school is scheduled to open in September 2022 and would become the town’s only middle school, accommodating all sixth through eighth graders.

Currently, students in grades 5 and 6 go to the Abigail Adams Middle School; those in grades 7 and 8 go to the current Chapman. The town’s eight elementary schools now enroll through grade 4.

Under the new plan, Abigail Adams would become the district’s ninth elementary school, all of which would take students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

The town plans to spend about $3 million converting Abigail Adams to an elementary school, and $2 million to buy modular classrooms for the existing elementary schools.

Weymouth has balked at permanent overrides in the past. The last vote on a $6.5 million operating budget override failed in 2015, as did another vote in 1990.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at