WEST BATH — Residents of West Bath decided to pull out of Regional School Unit 1 on Tuesday, voting 468-97 to create an independent school district.

West Bath narrowly achieved the 560-ballot minimum needed to validate the vote to leave the regional school district, which also includes Bath, Woolwich, Phippsburg and Arrowsic.

With just a steady trickle of voters throughout the day, town staff members were anxious about whether the minimum ballot requirement would be met.

“It was definitely a nail-biter right to the last minute,” said Selectman Peter Oceretko, who was also a member of the withdrawal committee.

The independent school district of West Bath will be required to create a new school board before the transition occurs later this year.

A transition committee will help organize the shift in the coming months. The committee will be faced with producing a budget for next year, as well as figuring out staffing and costs for a variety of services.

West Bath elementary students will attend West Bath school, while middle and high school students will be able to tuition out to other schools.

Bath’s school system has agreed to be the school of guaranteed acceptance, allowing older students to attend Bath schools if desired.

Chris Chase can be contacted at:

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Twitter: cchaseCJ