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Salmon River voters approve $36.5M capital project; Reject turf field

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FORT COVINGTON - In the words of school board member Bob Durant, “The people have spoken.”

After weeks of Superintendent Jane Collins and various board members reaching out to Salmon River School District voters to explain the school district’s $36.5 million capital project following a failed vote in March, district voters approved funding for the capital project 382-212. However, voters rejected a second proposition, which would have allowed the district to build a synthetic turf field, by a 425-176 margin.

“It’s good news for our children and community, as they’re going to have a better school,” said board President Chris Nye. “People’s confidence in us has been restored.”

The scope of the project includes renovations and improvements to boilers, the water system, plumbing, roofs, ventilation, electrical, exterior, classrooms throughout all three school buildings, the high school gymnasium and the bus garage; asbestos abatement and field work.

Among the most dire upgrades are the approximately 147,000 square feet of leaking and deteriorating roofs and ventilation systems that haven’t been upgraded since the 1950s and ‘60s.

The revised capital project removed of a bus wash and indoor track for the high school gymnasium from the March proposal but added water system upgrades,.

“They need new facilities for the kids,” said district resident Phillip Gray, one of the last voters of the day. “I went to school here, my kids went, and now our grandkids are coming up.”

“I want to thank the community for turning out to support the project,” Ms. Collins after the results were announced. “I’m looking forward to refining the design process and working with the staff and the board.”

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