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Appquinimink referendum to renovate Redding Middle School approved with ease

Delaware Public Media

Residents in the Appoquinimink School District overwhelmingly approve a capital referendum with no tax increase attached.

The vote was 3,004 in favor and just 111 against.

The approval means the district can go ahead with renovation and expansion of the Redding Middle School in Middletown.

"I'm happy; I'm relieved; Redding students and staff deserve a school that can deliver the same 21st century education as the rest of our facilities," said Superintendent Matthew Burrows. “I’d like to thank our parents, our staff, our volunteers, and this fantastic community. Your support at the polls have made this a very happy holiday for our district."

When the results were announced at the Appoquinimink School Board meeting, the board’s president Michelle Wall expressed relief.

"Like I said previously, it felt like a divisive time in education.  It’s nice to have something that we all rallied around together to move forward," said Wall.  "I think it’s been a general feeling of all of us that we want the future of Redding to be just as bring and shiny as its historic past. And we want a building that will be a reflection of the great legacy that Louis Redding had.

The district says every major mechanical system in the school, which opened in 1952, has exceeded its lifespan. That includes plumbing, HVAC and electric.

District officials also say the school suffers from leaks in the roof bringing water into classrooms, common spaces, and offices, some sewer backups and deteriorating floors.

The district has saved money over time to pay for its portion of the cost - $13,675,000 – so no tax hike was needed.

The referendum was necessary by law to show community support and trigger the state’s portion of funding the project, $43,305,000.