February 1, 2011

Harpswell votes to close one of its elementary schools

Dennis Hoey dhoey@mainetoday.com

HARPSWELL — Harpswell voters have given their consent for the school district to close the West Harpswell School.

Results from Tuesday’s town wide referendum, which were provided by the Town Clerk’s Office, show that 834 people voted to close the elementary school while 753 residents voted to keep it open.

According to officials for Maine School Administrative District 75, the closure will take effect at the end of the school year. West Harpswell students will have to be bused in the Fall to the town's other elementary school – the Harpswell Islands School.

If voters had rejected closure, the town would have had to pay nearly $200,000 to keep the school open.

Tuesday’s referendum represents the second attempt in the last two years by the district to close the school. Officials say consolidation will not only save money, but allow the district to provide higher quality programming to students.

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