Madison Academy School site could be $15.9 million community center

After years of debate, the Academy School project, which town leaders say could transform the downtown area, finally will head to referendum. The plan initially was to move the community center project to referendum in 2020 but the pandemic delayed that. The project got pushed to the back-burner, a townwide facility study was completed and then selectmen voted to move forward with the project. The project is estimated to cost $15.9 million, an increase from the previously disclosed $14 million due to the increase in material costs and the decision to add a geothermal system into the budget. A special town meeting will be held Feb. 1, with the referendum to be held Feb. 15. After the referendum, selectmen will establish an Academy Building Committee, with construction to begin in 2023. Renovations and the community center opening are set for 2024.

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