IRSD Referendum Defeated a Second Time - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

IRSD Referendum Defeated a Second Time

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SELBYVILLE, Del.- Voters who took to the polls Tuesday for Indian River School District's referendum defeated the measure. 

The unofficial vote tolls have 4,578 for the referendum and 4,643 against it. 

The referendum was asking for funding for the construction of a new Sussex Central High School, an eight-classroom addition at Indian River High School and a four-classroom addition at Selbyville Middle School.

If it had passed, the average district property owner would have seen a gradual tax increase, maxing out at about $66 after four years.

In a statement, superintendent Mark Steele said: “The defeat of the referendum is a serious blow to the Indian River School District. We are faced with an anticipated enrollment growth of more than 1,700 students in the next six years and there is no guarantee the State of Delaware will approve funding for these construction projects in the future. As a result, we may not be able to host another major capital improvement referendum for several years."

Additionally, Steele said the district will have to use portable classrooms to help address overcrowding concerns. Steele estimates they'll need 22 portable classrooms in the next five years. 

WBOC spoke earlier Tuesday with one neighbor who said he'd be voting against the measure. 

"There's so much going on right now, prices of things going up. Gas is going up, and I think a lot of people are having a hard time as it is," neighbor Howard Dennis said.

The last capital improvement referendum failed earlier this year on Feb. 5.

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