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March 11. 2014 10:27PM

Pelham voters support high school renovation

PELHAM – Voters approved a $22.6M high school renovation project on Tuesday.

The renovations will help alleviate overcrowding at the school and address all the school’s state accreditation concerns, according to School Board Chairman Brian Carton.

The project includes a new two-story addition that would increase the total square-footage of the high school by nearly 50 percent, from 88,000 square feet to 130,000 square feet.

The project will increase the number of classrooms, increase the size of the existing classrooms, update the cafeteria and gym, add a new performing arts space, and create additional parking.

On the municipal side of the ballot, incumbent selectmen William McDevitt and Doug Viger held off a challenge from political newcomer Paul Moriarty.

McDevitt received 1944 votes, Viger 1964 votes, and Moriarty 1268 votes.

Voters also approved a $13,423,831 municipal operating budget, which is only about $120,000 more than last year's approved budget of $13,310,525. The budget passed by a margin of 1842-1640.

Voters also supported an article changing the elderly exemption on property taxes that the town grants to residents who are 80 or older. That article passed by a better than two-to-one margin, 2,334-1,148.

The new exemption takes a three-tiered approach, granting up to $33,000 off assessed property values for property owners 64 to 74, $85,000 for those 75 to 79, and capping it at $100,000 off the assessed property value for those 80 and older.

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