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$57 million capital referendum vote set in the Milford School District

Delaware Public Media

Milford residents head to the polls again this week to vote in a capital referendum that seeks to reopen Milford Middle School.

It’s the district’s third attempt to fund a plan for the building.

Milford Middle School closed in 2013 due to health and safety concerns.

Since then, the Milford School District offered two referendums seeking to deal with the shuttered building.

“Shortly after the building was closed, there was an initial request to the community to renovate that building on the current property," said Milford School District chief financial officer Sara Croce. "And that was not successful. So the District came up with a different plan to potentially have a new high school site; but that referendum required purchasing land and building a new facility and that was also not successful.”

Croce says the district went back to square one after the failed referendums and residents ultimately signaled they want to renovate the current building and add some new construction.

The cost for the work is estimated to be $57.3 million.

Croce says if this referendum is approved, district residents’ taxes will go up to cover the $14.89 million the district is responsible for. The remaining $42.4 million would come from the state.

Croce says the funding would bring new life to the site - allowing about 1,000 5th and 6th graders to move into a new facility in Fall 2025 or Winter 2026.

“If we are successful tomorrow (Wednesday), the impact of the referendum will be about one year from now," said Croce. "We will start with phase 1, which is site preparation, design and demolition of the current facility.”

Residents can vote in Wednesday’s referendum from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Benjamin Banneker and Lulu M. Ross elementary schools, Milford High School or the Morris Early Childhood Center.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.