AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst Town Council has proposed a new net-zero elementary school for grades K thru 5.

22News spoke to Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman who says that this plan has been in the works for nearly a decade and the proposed plan is finally gaining traction. The new school would be built on the Fort River site and would replace Wildwood and Fort River Elementary Schools.

Residents of the town will have to decide first if building one school is better than renovating the two existing schools in the town. Which would require a $40 million investment per school to make them ADA-accessible and a proper learning environment.

The community gathered at the Bangs Community Center to discuss how this would save money on administration, teachers, and energy. The proposed three-story building is expected to be completed by the fall of 2026 and reach a capacity of 575 students if it is approved by the town.

Now the voters have to decide if they want to build the building or not because there will be a question on the ballot on May 2nd asking Amherst residents if they want to increase their taxes to pay for the new building.