Rocky Hill will have a newly renovated .
After countless hours of campaigns, debates and meetings, more than 4,000 residents turned out to vote on the , and 3,047 support the project.
According to unofficial numbers, 3,047 people voted in favor of the bond referendum Tuesday while 1,150 voted in opposition.
In the end, 4,197 of the 11,129 in the referendum, according to unofficial numbers. The voter turnout is more than 37 percent, which was slightly more than the amount of voters who participated in a similar 2010 referendum, which saw 4,005 or 35.7 percent of people vote.
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Board of Education members, teachers, parents and councilors joined members of the political action committee "" to hold signs and advise people to vote in support of the high school renovation project at the three polling places.
“I think we need it. It is 20 years late,” resident Walter Wutsch said after casting his vote earlier in the day. Wutsch added that renovation of the building was “long overdue” and felt the project should have been done in smaller amounts over several years.
“They did nothing for many years,” he said. “It has got to get done.”
However, not everyone supported the project. Resident Joan Willey stopped to talk to members of the “Stay Accredited” group earlier in the day at the . Willey said that some people in town are on a fixed income like her and that the anticipated increase in taxes to pay for the school improvements would cost her a paycheck (about $200) each month.
“I just wanted you to know why some of us were not supporting it,” she said.
Willey was not alone in her concerns as several residents, who declined to be identified, said that they did not support the referendum because of tax concerns.
According to documents distributed by town and school officials, the average increase in property taxes for a resident with a home valued at $200,000 is between $210 to $254 per year (with a cost of $17.50 to $21.17 per month). The amount of the tax increase is expected to drop each year.
The state is expected to reimburse the town about 44 percent of the project's cost, leaving Rocky Hill taxpayers to pay the remaining $28.55 million.
In late March, the 30-year-old building , but was placed on a warning list by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges Inc. Commission on Public Secondary Schools. The project that was approved Tuesday night is expected to address all the concerns in the which included increasing the number of science labs, making the school ADA complaint and updating the HAVC system.