The Cumberland-North Yarmouth School Board unanimously agreed Monday to consider other site options for a new elementary school rather than solely focus its efforts on a proposed location at 80 Gray Road in North Yarmouth.

After a $73.9 million bond proposal to build a new primary school on the Gray Road site failed overwhelmingly in a November referendum, the SAD 51 board extended its purchase option on the $1.2 million, 76-acre property. That move angered some residents, who said a big reason the project was rejected was because the site was too large.

Monday’s vote gives the community and the board another opportunity to find a mutually acceptable parcel of land for the project, which officials say is needed to alleviate school overcrowding in the district.

“There is potential out there, and I think we ought to vet the land that looks reasonable,” board Chairperson Jason Record said. “I’m in favor of taking a couple months and looking for land one more time.”

Superintendent Jeff Porter recommended accepting new land proposals as soon as possible in order to begin the work to draft a new referendum.

In addition to the site search, the board directed Porter to conduct a community survey on the new school project.

“We also want to know their thought process on why they voted the way that they did back in November,” board member Tom McGuinness said.

Caroline Ford, a North Yarmouth parent, told the board Monday she advocated for the previous school project because of her concerns about the overcrowding at the Mabel I. Wilson School in Cumberland.

“We moved to the area because we love the schools,” Ford said. “I was disheartened to see that the referendum didn’t pass.”

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