Residents will have the opportunity in referendum next Tuesday to vote whether to authorize the appropriation of $7 million for the acquisition and conversion of the former Korn Elementary School in Durham into a community center.
The Dec. 4 vote will be the culmination of months – arguably years – of work looking into the feasibility and relative demand for a community center in town.
At the end of 2017, the Korn School Feasibility Committee was formed and tasked to determine whether adaptive reuse of the school for a future community center was realistic and how it might work. Engineering firm Silver Petrucelli was hired to conduct an adaptive reuse feasibility study.
In October, the group presented its final findings, including potential programming and uses to the possible tax impact on residents and anticipated building improvements.
Residents can find the final report, as well as other relevant materials on the town of Durham website, under the Korn School Feasibility Assessment Committee page.
Residents overwhelmingly approved setting the date and time for the referendum vote, during a special town meeting on Oct. 29.
All voting districts should go to Korn School, 144 Pickett Lane, the central polling place. Voting will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voters can file absentee ballot applications in the town clerk’s office, which will hold additional hours this Saturday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The ballot label for the referendum question will read, "Shall the Town of Durham appropriate $7,000,000 for the acquisition and conversion of the former Francis E. Korn Elementary School building into a community center and authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds and notes in the same amount to finance said appropriation? Yes _____ No _____"
The full text of the resolution is on file and open to the public in the Town Clerk’s office and also on the town’s website, under elections, which also houses explanatory text.