Dover board OKs new high school


The Dover School Board approved an $86 million plan for a new combined high school and career technical center at a meeting on Monday, July 20.

The board voted 5-1 in favor of the plan, which includes the construction of a new three-story, 310,000-square-foot building. The plan, recommended by the city’s joint building commission (JBC), calls for the new school to be built on the high school’s existing softball field. The career technical center, currently in its own building on the campus, would be located inside the new building. Once the new school is completed, the old high school, which was built in 1967, will be torn down and replaced with athletic fields.

“It’s time. That building has reached its useful life,” said school board member Sarah Greenshields.

Board member Doris Grady voted against the plan, citing concerns about the project’s tax impact on senior citizens and urging the city to find a way to reuse the current high school. According to the JBC’s recommendations, the project would add $62 to the tax bill of an average home in the city in fiscal year 2017 and $30 in fiscal year 2018.

“We have invested in that building, since 2002, probably almost $18 to $20 million … in repairs, and in that short (amount) of time, to tear down a building with that many dollars in it, I just have difficulty with it,” she said at the meeting.

The project now moves to the city council, which must vote to authorize borrowing. If the council approves the project, construction could begin in the summer of 2016, with the project completed in the fall of 2018. — Larry Clow