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Norris School roof replacement OK’d in Southampton election

The $1.8 million project to replace the leaky roof of the William E. Norris School got final approval from voters Monday in a special election. Voters approved the funds at a special Town Meeting Feb. 5. A proposition 2½ override vote by ballot was also required because the town will have to borrow the funds.

“Yesterday’s vote is one more affirmation of the importance of education in Southampton,” Hampshire Regional School District Superintendant Craig Jurgensen said Tuesday. “It gives the project architect the green light to move ahead with engineering and design plans so that work can begin in late June.”

Voters Monday supported the borrowing by a vote of 139 in favor to 19 opposed. Only 157 voters — 3.7 percent of the town’s 4,222 registered voters — turned out, Sandra Wickland, the town’s temporary co-clerk, said. She is filling in as co-clerk along with resident Katherine Ingram while Town Clerk Eileen Couture and Assistant Town Clerk Ruth Bernier are both out on sick leave.

The roof is being replaced with help from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which will reimburse the town for 55 percent of design and construction costs if the project is completed by Aug. 30. That means the state agency would pay an estimated $989,584 and the town would pay approximately $809,660.

— REBECCA EVERETT

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