BREAKING NEWS:Voters approve school plan

BREAKING NEWS:Elementary school gets overwhelming voter support.

   MONROE —Voters overwhelmingly approved a $26.8 million referendum to build a new elementary school, Tuesday.
   Of the 5,178 registered voters who went to the polls, 3,481 voted yes, and 1,687 voted no.
   The plan calls for the construction of a 80,275-square-foot elementary school on Applegarth Road, directly across from the Applegarth Middle School.
   The building would open in 2008 and is designed to hold 700 students.
   That the cost of the project will be paid for by a 1.98-cent increase in the school tax rate.
   The district’s long-term plan for relieving overcrowding is the construction of a new 365,00-square-foot high school on a 35-acre parcel of county-owned Thompson Park at the intersection of Perrineville and Schoolhouse roads, across the street from the current high school.
   Under that plan, the current high school would become the middle school, and Applegarth Middle School would become an elementary school. Construction of the new high school has been delayed by the necessity of obtaining state permission to build the school on Thompson Park, which is protected under the state Green Acres program.
   State officials approved the plan Jan. 5 and district officials predict that the high school could be completed and open by the fall of 2011.
   When that happens, the new elementary school — which would open as a kindergarten-through-sixth-grade facility if voters approve it Tuesday — would become a kindergarten-through-second-grade facility.
   With Applegarth Middle School becoming a third-through-sixth-grade facility, that would mirror the arrangement of the districts four other elementary schools.