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Franklin — Voters in the Franklin School District decided that Forest Park Middle School will get a new building.

In the $43.3 million question, the vote was fairly close, with the referendum passing by a margin of about 600 votes – 52 percent voting "yes" and 48 percent "no."

Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Steve Patz said that the district is "excited, appreciative, and grateful for the people who voted and supported this."

"We're very appreciative of our community supporting our school system," Patz said. "I think it speaks volumes when you pass a referendum as big as this one."

The $43.3 million referendum represents a tax increase of 65 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Hoping to break ground on the new building this spring, Patz said there is "a lot of legwork" that needs to be done in the next few months.

"We will be sitting down and creating some design options and meeting with staff to get their input on a lot of what will go into the building," Patz said.

According to preliminary plans, the new middle school will have additional classrooms to make room for adding sixth grade to the school, bigger classrooms, a secure entrance, updated science labs, and additional space for music classes.

Exactly 15,000 people voted in Franklin's referendum.

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