- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 6, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A referendum to pay for the construction of a new school to replace Portland’s aging Hall Elementary School was overwhelmingly approved by voters this week.

The bond issue to fund the development of the new school passed by 86 percent of the vote on Tuesday.

The state has agreed to pay for almost the entire $29.7 million project. Officials say $1.4 million in local funding will be used for specific upgrades such as a larger gym that will double as a community center.

The new school will have room for 558 students and will be built on the Orono Road site of the 60-year-old Hall Elementary.

Mayor Ethan Strimling says he’s pleased that Portland voters have shown that educating children is a top priority for the city.

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