Indian River School District moving forward with 3rd referendum attempt

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Sussex Central High School – Indian River School District

The Indian River School District is moving forward with yet another referendum, the third attempt in roughly one year, after the school board voted unanimously in favor of the proposal that, if passed, would fund a new Sussex Central High School.

Indian River school board members voted 9-0 in favor of a third referendum attempt, according to Delaware State News.

If passed, the funding would be used to build a new Sussex Central High School and manage growth in the district, which Indian River Superintendent Mark Steele told WGMD’s Mike Bradley shows no signs of changing anytime soon.

Indian River Superintendent Mark Steele speaks to WGMD’s Mike Bradley…

“From being somebody that’s been in this district for 39 years and lived here my entire life, I never dreamed I would see the amount of growth that we see,” Steele explained. “I can tell you over the next three years we’re going to grow six hundred students just based on progression.”

Steele said he anticipates the district will reach a capacity of 12,000 kids by 2024, 2025.

The State approved the district’s intent to build a new Sussex Central High School which would pave the way for the district to tackle the overcrowding by transitioning its existing schools accordingly, according to board member Jim Fritz.

“One building is going to solve a ton of overcrowding at multiple buildings,” Fritz explained. “If we build a new Sussex Central High School, which the numbers would be for 2,200 kids, it would then free up the current Sussex Central High School building and we would turn that into a middle school.”

All students from Millsboro Middle, and some from Georgetown Middle, would be placed at the new middle school located in the current building of Sussex Central High School, according to Fritz, who said that would free up Millsboro Middle School which would then be turned into an elementary school to free up space at other area elementary schools.

The Indian River School District’s last referendum attempt failed by a margin of 65 votes.

While a date has yet to be announced, district officials are reportedly looking at holding the referendum sometime in February.