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Sweet Home School District residents Wednesday voted, 794-518, to spend $12.9 million to place 1,350 computers in classrooms, install a fiber-optic network and revamp roofs and mechanical systems.

Ballots were cast by 5.3 percent of eligible voters.

The total project cost is pegged at $12,883,084 and would be financed over 15 years through long-term bonding. More than $8.5 million of the cost would be reimbursed by the state.

Taxes to fund the project are projected to increase an average of $36 a year in Amherst and $23 in the Town of Tonawanda.

About $7.5 million would be spent on computers and enhanced technology including $420,000 for computer software. The remainder would go for roof reconstruction at the four elementary schools, high school and transportation center; mechanical upgrades; and other renovations.

The first phase of the three-phase project would take place in 1996-97 and would install mini-labs of seven computers in all elementary classrooms. Two full-size labs of 25-30 computers also would be added to six existing labs at the high school.

A full-size computerized music lab would be installed at the middle school and work to install a fiber-optic cable network would begin at the high school.

Further phases, in 1998 and beyond, would include the completion of the network, linking all computers in all school buildings, with outside access to the internet. Labs at the high school and libraries would also be upgraded and mini-labs placed in classrooms at the middle school.

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