(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."