SCARBOROUGH — Hoping to be ready for the November 2020 referendum, the Board of Education voted 5-2 in favor of consolidating Scarborough’s three primary schools on Jan. 23.

An amendment to the motion, asking for the board to address the population growth of all grades in the district, was passed as well.

While many things about this new consolidated school plan are still unknown — for example, where the building will go, which grades it will serve, and what it will look like — the Board of Education said that those answers will become available as the process moves forward.

Board member Hillory Durgin, who is also on the Building Steering Committee, which was tasked with finding a solution to Scarborough’s overcrowding problem, said that the next step is to hire a contractor.

David Martin, a member of the Building Steering Committee, said that the interviewing process will begin soon. The schedule to get the vote on the referendum this November is “extremely tight.”

April Sither, who was one of the two “no” votes, said that she felt this decision was a “tremendous weight” that will greatly impact and shape Scarborough, something that she didn’t feel comfortable doing until she had more answers.

She and board member Kristen Turner, who also voted in opposition, wanted the motion to be tabled, but this was rejected by the rest of the board.

Board member Nicholas Gill said that a decision needed to be made in order to finally move forward and address the overcrowding problem the schools are facing, with Chair Leanne Kazilionis agreeing.

Durgin and board member Alicia Giftos, who also serves on the Building Steering Committee, said that the committee had been working for months on this recommendation, consulting with experts and doing everything it could to get the data it needed to make an informed decision.

Gill said that he felt confident in the committee’s recommendation.

While members of the public had asked the board about considering renovations to the three primary schools, Gill said that the existing school’s facilities are too small to serve the teachers and students.

A Scarborough parent, Alex Webber, said he was concerned about the removal of “three valuable community resources:” Pleasant Hill, Blue Point and Eight Corners, which have playgrounds that many families utilize. He asked the board to consider preserving those buildings in some form.

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