Indian River to host major capital improvement referendum

SELBYVILLE — The Indian River School District will host a major capital improvement referendum on Thursday, Feb. 13.

The referendum will seek funding for the construction of a new Sussex Central High School. With voter approval, the referendum will result in a maximum possible tax increase of $63.24 for the average district property owner. This increase will be phased in over a three-year period.

Voting on Feb. 13 is from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. District residents who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age are eligible to vote at the following local polling places: East Millsboro Elementary School, Georgetown Elementary School, Indian River High School, Long Neck Elementary School, Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Selbyville Middle School. In the event of inclement weather, the referendum will be held on Feb. 20.

“Passage of this referendum is absolutely critical to the future of the Indian River School District,” IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele said. “Overcrowding in the northern end of the district is reaching a crisis stage and the construction plan being put before voters is the most equitable solution. The upcoming retirement of previous 20-year bond issues is making it possible to implement property tax increases for only three years to fund the construction of the new high school. The time has never been better for residents to approve this measure, as the district’s economic climate will provide the best possible value for taxpayers.”

The district is scheduled to retire seven construction bonds during the next five years. The resulting adjustments to the debt service tax rate will lessen the impact of the new school construction and present significant savings to district taxpayers.

The new Sussex Central High School will have a capacity of 2,200 students. The new building will be approximately 309,799 square feet and be built on district-owned property next to the existing high school north of Millsboro.

The referendum’s major capital improvement proposal will alleviate overcrowding in the northern end of the district through the construction of only one new school instead of several. In addition to the construction of a new Sussex Central High School, the district plans to renovate and repurpose two existing school buildings. Under the plan, Millsboro Middle School will move into the existing Sussex Central High School building and allow the existing Millsboro Middle School to be converted into an additional elementary school. The proposed new high school will be built on land that is already owned by the school district, creating additional savings to taxpayers.

Additional classroom space is needed to address a large increase in district enrollment during the past eight years. IRSD’s total enrollment is 10,942 students in Grades PreK-12. This represents an increase of 2,071 students since 2011.

For more information about the referendum, contact Indian River’s Referendum Hotline at (302) 436-1079 or visit the district’s special referendum web site at irsd.net/referendum.

IRSD Adult Education offers winter/spring courses

The Indian River School District’s Adult Education course offerings for Winter/Spring 2020 can now be viewed online at community.irsd.net.

For more information s, contact Michele Murphy at (302) 436-1000 or Michele.Murphy@irsd.k12.de.us. Program flyers and registration forms are available at community.irsd.net.

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