After three years of discussion, voters approved the $158 million in funding via a property tax override for the new Elmwood School, 995-634, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s Special Town Election.
Town Clerk Connor Degan released the numbers at 8:19 p.m. He stressed in an email that the results “are preliminary and subject to change following the processing of any provisional ballots.” He also noted that one blank ballot was cast in person.
Article 1 on the new Elmwood School building was approved 622-241 at the Nov. 13 Special Town Meeting. The 72% vote in favor easily met the two-thirds majority needed for passage. The election vote was the second part of the two-step approval process.
The $158 million figure does not include more than $61.5 million in reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority or expected rebates from MassSave and the Inflation Reduction Act, estimated at $1.7 million and $4 million, respectively.
In a phone interview Tuesday night, Elementary School Building Committee chair Jon Graziano said the favorable vote was “a big relief.”
“It’s obvious that we felt really good about the support we received at the Special Town Meeting,” he continued. “Because we needed a smaller threshold of a simple majority to pass, we were pretty confident. But because we always worry about complacency with voters, we spent the day calling and emailing people to remind them about the election.”
Graziano thanked fellow ESBC members for their diligence over the past few years in presenting a project that would meet the needs of Hopkinton’s students while being financially responsible.
“I had a good feeling about this project,” he said. “The process we undertook showed that we found solutions when concerns arose, which is really what the town was looking for from the ESBC.”
Now the project can move forward. The plans are in the 30% design phase, with the layout and floor plan complete.
“We can start to analyze the plans now and hire a construction project manager,” Graziano said. “We will begin working with the Planning Board and state authorities on traffic management and stormwater management plans.
“A lot of towns have not had their school projects approved,” he added. “I am both proud of the work the ESBC did and extremely gratified to be living in a town that cares so deeply about the education of its students.”