BELCHERTOWN — The Belchertown Select Board declared that there was not a quorum at the Jabish Brook special Town Meeting on June 24, resulting in the immediate adjoining of the meeting.

The special Town Meeting had originally been called in order to approve the allotment of funds for the Jabish Brook Middle School Building project following the approval of the project itself at the June 17 election.

This project proposed constructing a 113,900-square-foot new middle school at an estimated cost of $74.6 million for the town and a 39% reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The updated school was designed to provide students with educational improvements as well as enact needed repairs of the current building, the Jabish Brook Building Committee explained. The town’s interest in the project was submitted in April 2020 to the MSBA with the project officially beginning in 2023.

However, the residents voted firmly against the project during the June 17 election with more than 60% of voters answering that the new school should not be constructed. The turnout rate for the election was 33%, according to the Town Clerk.

In an emergency meeting on June 20, the Jabish Brook Building Committee stated that residents voted against the project due to its significant cost and misinformation on social media. At the meeting, members recommended modifications to the project that might provide a compromise to the project’s cost and benefits, but ultimately decided any compromises risked losing more voters’ support as well as the MSBA’s reimbursement rate. As a result, the committee voted not to pursue the project and stated that the committee would formally dissolve.

Due to Massachusetts law, Belchertown was obligated to still host the June 24 Town Meeting as a formality since the meeting had been officially posted, Town Administrator Steven Williams stated at the June 20 emergency Jabish Brook Building Committee meeting. If the meeting had received a quorum, then the recommendation would have been to take no action, Williams said. Yet, without a quorum at the June 24 meeting, the 11 attendees voted to adjourn at the recommendation of the Select Board.

If the project is revived at a later date, it would be under the oversight of the Select Board, Jabish Brook Building Committee Chair Heidi Gutekenst said. At this point, another building committee could also be called.

Following the special Town Meeting, Select Board member Lesa Lessard Pearson told Reminder Publishing that the Jabish Brook discussion was in a “cool down period.” She emphasized that residents needed to come together as a community and remember that they are “one Belchertown.”

Pearson did not provide a comment as to whether the Select Board would pursue the project at a later date.