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    Voters support high school, town hall projects

    Sharon voters unanimously put their support behind plans to upgrade Sharon High School and approved measures to build a new Town Hall and make a zoning change to allow a proposed residential and retail center to move forward.

    The special Town Meeting on Nov. 6 agreed to spend $1.9 million on a feasibility study, schematic design, and cost estimates for the best way to modernize the high school. Consultants will explore whether renovating the school or building a new one is best.

    The crowded high school is not conducive to today’s educational methods, school officials told voters. The town is expecting a reimbursement rate on the school project of up to 45 percent from the Massachusetts School Building Authority.


    In other matters, a zoning amendment that would allow a residential and retail plaza adjacent to Interstate 95, known as Sharon Gallery, passed after a lengthy debate, garnering two-thirds of the vote.

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    Owner David Spiegel said adding a residential component to the development is essential for it to succeed. Developing the site into a shopping destination has been discussed for the past decade, but the residential component is a recent addition. Spiegel and his team cited other shopping destinations that have residences onsite or nearby, such as Legacy Place in Dedham and University Station in Westwood.

    Residents voted 227 in favor and 84 opposed to spending $13.5 million on a new Town Hall, replacing the existing building, which officials say is cramped and does not meet federal accessibility standards. The funding measure needed a two-thirds vote.

    Jill Terreri Ramos can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jillterreri.