PENNSBURG, Pa. - In a close vote, the Upper Perkiomen School Board voted Monday night to immediately halt construction of the district's new middle school.
Among a wild crowd of supporters and opponents, the school board, composed of several members recently voted into office, voted 5–4 to stop the project.
Dr. Kerry A. Drake, Melanie Cunningham, Raeann Hofkin, Steven Cunningham, and James Glackin voted to cease construction, which has already started on the 42-acre piece of land near the high school.
"They have started the work, even though residents have come to protest and discuss at each meeting that they did not want the new middle school," said Donna Steinhauer, a resident against building the new school.
Supporters said a new school is needed to ease overcrowding, but opponents argued the middle school's $50-million-plus price tag is too high. Some estimates suggest the school district has already spent $10 million on the project.
"By building the school, what you are doing is adding a fifth building," said Labrea Huff, who favors the new construction, "so not only are you benefiting sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, you're also alleviating overcrowding that currently exists at the elementary schools."
The Upper Perkiomen School District comprises Upper Hanover and Marlborough townships and the boroughs of East Greenville, Green Lane, Pennsburg, and Red Hill in Montgomery County and Hereford Township in Berks County.
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