$197 Million Newton North HS opens

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The pool at Newton North High School (WBZ-AM)

The pool at Newton North High School (WBZ-AM)

Is it the Taj Mahal of schools or a monument to excessive spending? The most expensive public school ever built in Massachusetts opened Tuesday.

The gym at Newton North. (WBZ-AM)

The gym at Newton North. (WBZ-AM)

The new Newton North High School began as a renovation, projected to cost about $40 million. However, over the years the scope and cost of that project exploded, causing much divisiveness in Newton.

The school includes two theaters, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, two gymnasiums, an auto body shop and other amenities.

The final price tag is $197.5 million.

The cost was not shouldered entirely by the city of Newton. The state paid over $46 million.

The 412,753 square foot facility has a student capacity of 1,850. It serves only half of Newton’s high school students. Another 1,700 students attend Newton South High School.

A ribbon-cutting was held Tuesday morning followed by a breakfast for incoming seniors.

Classes for students begin on September 7.

Newton North High School ribbon-cutting. (WBZ-AM)

Newton North High School ribbon-cutting. (WBZ-AM)

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