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South Portland approves spending $71.6 million on new middle school, traffic upgrades
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(reprinted from Kelly Bouchard, Portland Press Herald)

City voters overwhelmingly approved two spending proposals Tuesday totaling $71.6 million that will pay for a new consolidated middle school and related traffic improvements.

The vote was 3,234-962, 77 percent in favor, to borrow $69.3 million to build a new middle school. The project will receive $59.3 million in state funding and require $10 million to be raised locally for building upgrades not covered by the Maine Department of Education.

The new school will replace the city's two aging middle schools – Mahoney and Memorial – and will be built next to Memorial Middle School on Wescott Road. Both schools have a variety of health, safety and structural issues.

"This is going to be great for the kids," said School Committee Chairman Dick Matthews. "We've been working on this for four years. Thank you to the voters of South Portland."

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SPHS Student Selected to National High School Honors Choir
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South Portland senior Toby Laber-Smith was accepted to the National High School Honors Choir. Laber-Smith completed a rigorous audition last May and competed with students from around the country to win this honor. He will travel to Orlando to rehearse and perform under the baton of internationally recognized conductor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, of St. Olaf College.

Photo credit to Catherine Callender


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Teens and Anxiety – and How We Can Help
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SoPo Unite, our Drug Free Communities Coalition, is hosting an event for parents on "Teens, Anxiety and How We Can Help" on Tuesday, August 27th from 6:30-8:30 pm facilitated by Kara and Ben Tierney-Trevor at South Portland High School in the Learning Commons.

Some teens can become anxious about the beginning of school, especially when they are transitioning to a new school. Come learn about how to manage gneral stress and anxiety, and discuss with other parents how we can help our teensa manage all of it.

Childcare and refreshments will be provided!

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State board approves $68 million concept for South Portland middle school
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The State Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously approved the concept for a new $67.7 million middle school in South Portland. A total of $59.2 million of the project, which now heads to voters in a Nov. 5 referendum, would be funded by the state with a remaining $8.4 million to be raised locally.

The proposal would replace the city's two aging middle schools, both of which house grades 6 through 8, with one 5-8 school to be built on the site of Memorial Middle School on Wescott Road. The new school would house about 900 students.

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Free Summer Food Service
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The South Portland School Nutrition Program will offer a Summer Food Service Program to provide meals to all children, without charge, during the summer months. Those meals will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, at the sites and times as follows:

Breakfast will be served from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to noon weekdays through Aug. 9 at Skillin Elementary School Cafeteria, 180 Wescott Road.

Breakfast also will be served from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. weekdays through Aug. 23 in the Community Room at Brickhill, 586 Westbrook St.
There will be no food service offered Thursday in observance of the July 4 holiday.

(reprinted from Portland Press Herald)

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