AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn Public School District wants to ask Town Meeting members in October to approve funding for a land purchase at the future middle school site on West Street.
On Tuesday night, the School Building Committee approved this warrant article for the Oct. 23 Town Meeting. The School Committee will also have to approve the warrant article before the end of this week.
Masonic Lodge owns 6.6 acres that the school district is seeking for a new middle school, and negotiations are underway with the Masonic Lodge to buy land for the West Street site.
“If negotiations are finished by Town Meeting in October, then we would be asking for an agreed upon value on Oct. 23,” said Superintendent of Schools Maryellen Brunelle. “If negotiations are not completed, due to our time constraint, then we would be looking for Town Meeting to appropriate a sum of money that we believe is ample to make the purchase.
“We would put it into stabilization, so that way once the price is agreed upon, then there is a funding source to pay for it,” Brunelle added. “The Town Manager is working very diligently on the negotiations with representatives of Masonic Lodge.”
School Building Committee Chairman Mark Imse said the town is trying to “get something formal in place with Masonic Lodge” by Oct. 3, when Auburn has a meeting with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). At that meeting, the state will decide whether the next middle school will be built on West Street.
“We’ll be thrilled to get that official approval to move forward,” Brunelle said. “Everything looks extremely hopeful.”
Town officials, including Brunelle, Imse and Town Manager Julie Jacobson, will seek state approval for the project at the MSBA's October board meeting in Boston.
The special Fall Town Meeting will take place Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in Auburn High School.
The Fall Town Meeting warrant is open until Friday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. Town departments and residents can submit articles for the town meeting up to that date.
Town department heads and residents submit articles to the Board of Selectmen, which then votes to put the articles on the meeting agenda.