District officials, project contractors and local dignitaries broke ground Monday morning on the classroom addition at North Georgetown Elementary School on North Bedford Street.
In a major capital improvement referendum on Jan. 29, 2013, more than 65 percent of the roughly 3,900 voters who cast ballots approved a 3.2-cent property tax increase to fund the addition of 38 new classrooms at schools currently facing spacing issues in the Indian River School District.
According to Dave Maull, district spokesman, the additional classrooms will be constructed at six schools – eight each at North Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Elementary, East Millsboro Elementary, Long Neck Elementary and Philip C. Showell Elementary and two at Selbyville Middle. The eight-classroom additions will have a general capacity of about 240 students, Maull said.
Additionally, a new kitchen will be built at Georgetown Elementary.
The total cost of the project is about $11 million, which is paid for by both the district and the state.
During the same referendum, voters approved an additional 11.5-cent tax increase to cover the hiring of 20 new teachers, as well as furniture, supplies and added utility costs related to the school expansions.
The combined tax increases provides the district with $6.2 million in new funding.
These classrooms and improvements are a small portion of the district’s major overhaul to accommodate a near 19 percent jump in enrollment since 2002 as well as this year’s addition of full-day kindergarten.
District officials, project contractors and local dignitaries broke ground Monday morning on the classroom addition at North Georgetown Elementary School on North Bedford Street. The ceremony also kicked off construction at Long Neck and East Millsboro elementary schools, which is expected to begin within the coming weeks, according to IRSD Superintendent Susan Bunting.
“It’s a big day for the students of the Indian River School District,” Bunting said Monday. “We’ve been waiting [since the referendum passed] for all the permits and all the red tape to be taken care of so we can actually begin construction of the much-needed classrooms.”
IRSD has contracted the Wilmington-based construction firm EDiS Company to complete the classroom additions.
Work on the North Georgetown Elementary addition is expected to wrap up within the next few months, Bunting said. According to Maull, construction of all 38 classrooms will be completed by fall 2015.