Minuteman Superintendent Thanks District for Supporting New School
LEXINGTON – Superintendent Edward A. Bouquillon today thanked voters in the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District for supporting construction of a new $144.9 million high school.
“The level of support was simply overwhelming,” said Bouquillon, “I’m so grateful to the voters and to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen. This is a major milestone in Minuteman’s history.”
Dr. Bouquillon noted that final, unofficial tallies showed the project winning in Minuteman’s 16 communities with a margin of 12,158 in favor and 5,320 opposed. Voter turnout was 10%.
The September 20 district-wide referendum only required a simple majority of those voting in the District to approve the project. They did, with nearly seven out of 10 voting in favor.
“What this mean is that we’re going to build a brand new school for future generations,” he said. “And we’re going to do it with solid support from the voters in the vast majority of our towns.”
Bouquillon said Minuteman will now proceed with Module 6 of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process. Working with its project manager and architects, it will try to accelerate final design and planning for the new school.
Voters in 12 of the 16 member towns voted in favor of building the new school by wide margins. In one town (Needham) the margin was 92%-8%. Voters in three towns (Carlisle, Sudbury and Wayland) opposed the new school by narrow margins totaling 43 votes.
Belmont voters opposed the school by a margin of 72%-28%.
The election results also give the Town of Belmont an opportunity to call a Special Town Meeting to consider its future as a member of the District, Bouquillon said. If Belmont Town Meeting votes by a two-thirds margin to leave the District, it could do so if no member community objects.
The MSBA has committed roughly $44 million in state money to help finance the project. The District will pay for the rest through borrowing and through revenue generated by a new capital fee to be imposed on non-member communities that send students to Minuteman.
The New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) has placed Minuteman’s accreditation on “warning” status solely due to the condition of its building.