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City slashes $7 mil from North costs

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Roxy Glazier

In response to growing public criticism of rising construction costs at Newton North, the School Committee and Design Review Committee met Wednesday, February 27 to discuss cutting the project by $7 million.
The committee’s reduced the landscaping costs, simplified the  theater, and substituted glass walls with regular walls. They plan to wait until the winter is over to pour concrete, helping to save up to $200,000.
Shelves and bike racks from the old school will be recycled into the new school to save additional money.
The cost of the school could have been reduced by $5.5 million more by not providing outdoor lighting the tennis courts, building a smaller stadium that seats half the people, and getting rid of air conditioning but members from both committees rejected the proposal.
City officials feel that public discontent over the high cost of the North construction, which is currently around $187 million and expected to rise, may result in a defeat of a property tax override this spring. Failure to pass an override would result in budget cuts for Newton Public Schools.

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