Voters in Cumberland and North Yarmouth on Tuesday rejected a $73.9 million school bond referendum aimed at solving a stubborn crowding problem in MSAD 51.

The proposal failed overall with 4,443 votes against, or 55%, with 3,596 in support. Cumberland voted  2,894 against and 2,407 in support. North Yarmouth voted 1,549 against and 1,189 support.

A majority of the funding, $70.3 million, would have gone toward building a new primary school for 732 students in pre-K through second grade; $1.2 million would have bought a 76-acre site at 80 Gray Road in North Yarmouth; and $2.4 million would have renovated Mabel Wilson School in Cumberland.

After the renovations, Mabel Wilson would house grades three through five and Greely Middle School in Cumberland would house grades six through eight.

Borrowed at an estimated 4% for 20 years, the property tax impact would have been phased in. It was projected to cost $46 per $100,000 of assessed property value in 2026, district officials said. It would have peaked at $920 on a home assessed at $400,000 in 2030, then decreased gradually over the remainder of the bond.

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