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Appoquinimink voters say "yes" to referendum

Delaware Public Media

Residents in the Appoquinimink School District gave a resounding thumbs up to a school tax referendum there Tuesday.

Both pieces of a two-part referendum seeking $70 million in new tax revenue passed by comfortable margins.

“I’m happy; I’m relieved; and the real winners are our kids,” said Superintendent Matt Burrows.

The vote to raise $67 million to go toward building new elementary, middle and high schools and renovate two buildings in the district received 72 percent support – winning by a 3,404 vote margin.

A new elementary school in Whitehall and the middle and high school coming to the Fairview Campus will help deal with enrollment growth.  District officials say Appo has added more than 750 students over the past two years and 3,000 kids over the past 10 years.

“Our plan is ambitious. We’ll open the new elementary in 2019, and add a new middle and high school by 2020. Using a concept called swing space, students from the two existing schools (Silver Lake Elementary, Everett Meredith Middle) will move into the new middle and high school for a short time until the renovation/expansion at their buildings can be completed. We’ll graduate our first class from the new high school in 2024,” Burrows said.

The vote to raise another $3 million for operating expenses passed by a 2,656 margin– with 67 percent saying yes.

“We said from the start that if our parent community believed in it and came out to support it, this would pass overwhelmingly,” Burrows said. “That’s what happened.”

Under the referendum - property taxes will increase by about 23-and-a-half cents per $100 of value. That’s about $15 more a month for an $250,000 home -- or just over $182 per year.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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