Monday evening (February 25, 2019) the Indian River School Board voted 7 - 1 to revisit the recently failed referendum and ask the voters again for a tax increase to fund the building of a new Sussex Central High School and additions to other schools, including Indian River High. No date has been set, but school board member Dr. Don Hattier says the most likely date will be in a mid to late April time frame.
Dr. Hattier, speaking on The Dan Gaffney Show, explained the issue is overcrowding due to growth in the district, "you can't fit 50 pounds of stuff into a 25 pound bag", he explained.
School Board member Dr. Heather Statler commented on the decision to re-try the vote, "The decision last evening was not an easy one. Unfortunately it is very difficult to get around the numbers in regards to space. One of my concerns is security In Portable classrooms. I know many people, including myself, during K through 12 were in a portable classroom at some point but today's environment is very different than 25 years ago. I also suggested last evening that we spend some time talking with no voters to try to understand their concerns. I do not think we can underestimate the value of working harder with our community partners. Please talk to us as board members to help us address your concerns."
The Dan Gaffney Show plans to keep voters up to date on this issue as it develops, and will keep offering to hear all viewpoints, pro or con.
The Indian River School District’s major capital improvement and current expense referendum was originally defeated by district residents on Tuesday, February 5. The official vote total on the Major Capitol question was:
Major Capital Improvements: 3,202 for and 3,860 against.
At the time, Superintendent Mark Steele said, “We are obviously disappointed with the outcome of the referendum but we respect the wishes of our residents. With our total enrollment projected to grow by more than 1,700 students during the next six years, we are still faced with a shortage of classroom space at several schools."