The Scarborough Town Council approved authorizing the issuance of up to $160 million in bonds to fund the cost of the building of a new primary school on Sept. 6 and to put the question on the November ballot. Funds are needed to purchase a 22-acre property at The Downs, priced at $7.2 million, as well as to pay for additional costs amounting to millions of dollars for off-site work, including road and sidewalk construction, to name a few.

Overcrowding at existing schools has been given as the main reason a new school is needed. The proposed new K-3 unified school would replace the town’s three K-2 schools. Portable classrooms are currently being used and have been in use for over 20 years.

Construction of a new consolidated K-3 school at the former Scarborough Downs racetrack will require several years of work, including off-site work.

Several residents living near the Downs property said they had concerns, especially about the negative impact of the construction and increased traffic.

“My concern,” Meghan Condry said, “is the imminent traffic and health concerns caused by the construction for over three years.” She said she was concerned about the impact of changing her dead-end road into a three-lane road leading to the new school.

However, Thomas Hall, town manager, said the concerns of nearby residents will be taken into account. “We’re committed to engage the residents once we know the road is chosen,” he said.


Forty-six sites were considered before narrowing it down to four. Of the final four, the Downs location was chosen after years of debate and research. In respong to  Council Vice Chair Don Hamill’s question why The Downs was chosen, several said that there wasn’t a cheaper or better option than the Downs.

Council Chair Jon Anderson said, “I understand that many of you are frustrated with the Downs.” He asked that people try to separate their frustrations with the Downs from the need for the school and come together for a solution.

The council voted 4-3 for the purchase of The Downs property for the proposed new school.

The council voted 6-1 in favor of putting this question on the November ballot that asks, “shall the order authorizing issuance of up to $160 million in general obligation bonds of the town of Scarborough to fund costs for a new unified K-3 school and renovations to the middle school be approved?”

The $160 million includes the unified K-3 school and off-site renovations, as well as $4 million to renovate the middle school. According to the town’s projections, homeowners can expect to pay an extra $200 to $400 in annual property taxes, depending on their property’s value.

There will be a council workshop on Sept. 20.


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