The Winslow School Board voted unanimously at a special board meeting Monday morning to approve the proposed renovation and consolidation project that would move seventh- and eighth-graders to Winslow High School and sixth-graders to Winslow Elementary School.

The estimated cost of the project, including demolition of Winslow Junior High School, is $10.33 million.

The Town Council will vote on whether to support the plan and send it forward to a bond referendum, where residents will vote on it in November.

The school board previously voted to close the junior high and shift the students to the town’s other two schools after a study found that the 1928 building would cost more than $3 million to fix.

Stephen Blatt, a Portland architect who runs Stephen Blatt Architects, proposes adding nine classrooms and a separate entrance to the high school for the younger students. A performing arts center is also included in the new construction at a cost of $2.09 million.

Blatt plans smaller renovations for the elementary school that will keep the younger children on the first floor and relocate the front office for security reasons.

At a presentation of the proposed project in June, a number of people raised concerns about how the younger students from the junior high would fare in the same building as high school students. The high school principal, Chad Bell, said middle school students already came to the building for advanced classes and extracurriculars, and he had yet to see a problem.

School superintendent Eric Haley said he estimates that, between annual operating cost savings and retired debt payments, the school will have about $415,000 each year to cover a bond payment for the project.

If paid over 20 years, the town would need to increase taxes by 50 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value after factoring in the savings. If paid over 30 years, the tax rate would increase by about 30 cents for every $1,000 of property value, but the town would pay more than $3 million extra in interest.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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