The Massachusetts School Building Authority has approved construction of a three-story elementary school on the site of the existing Fort River School in Amherst.
The new facility, which will house about 575 students, will replace the aging Fort River building, reports the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The construction project is expected to cost more than $100 million.
Before the project can proceed, Amherst voters must approve a Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion, likely to be scheduled for next spring.
Design plans call for the facility to be a net-zero building that will use ground source heat and photovoltaics, as well as make extensive use of natural light and outdoor learning spaces.
The state agency also has approved the relocation in 2023 of all sixth-grade students in Amherst's three elementary schools, to Amherst Regional Middle School.
Construction is expected to be complete in fall 2026.