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Fisk school won’t be ready in time for 2014 Salem town meeting

SALEM — With renovations at Mary A. Fisk Elementary School expected to continue into the coming school year, school and town officials warned the project won’t be completed in time for the March 2014 town meeting.

During Monday night’s Salem Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager Keith Hickey confirmed that Fisk School wouldn’t be used as a polling place next spring, though it’s unclear at this time where the polls will be moved.

Hickey said he’s working closely with the Salem School Board and Salem town moderator to arrang for a temporary voting venue.

Last spring, Salem voters approved a $16.2 million bond article to fund major renovations at Fisk and Soule elementary schools, as well as minor repairs at Haigh Elementary School.

Construction at both schools began immediately after the recent school year ended, and the schools are in the process of getting new floors and ceilings installed.

Fisk School is also getting a new multipurpose room, which will offer plenty of space for future elections once it’s completed. The project should be finished by the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

These days, the town uses four different polling locations: Fisk School, Lancaster School, North Salem School and the Ingram Senior Center.

Up until several years ago, Salem had offered six polling locations — at Fisk, Soule, Barron, Lancaster and North Salem schools and at Town Hall.

In 2012, town officials consolidated the districts that previously voted at Town Hall and Barron School into one district, at the Ingram Senior Center on Sally Sweet’s Way.

Town officials then eliminated the Soule School poll location, which historically tended to attract fewer voters, consolidating that district into one location at the Fisk School.

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