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 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.