Cape Henlopen School District voters have passed a referendum to build a new elementary school and add classrooms to the middle schools.
The referendum passed by a vote of 3,587 for and 2,410 against.
Superintendent Robert Fulton credited a dedicated group of parents and a supportive community for making it happen.
"Parents and the community really stuck together," he said.
The referendum passed at two of the three polling places. Votes at Cape Henlopen High School were 2,130 for and 1,386 against; at Rehoboth Elementary votes were 916 for and 348 against; and at Mariner Middle School votes were 541 for and 676 against.
In addition to the elementary school, the $31 million referendum will pay for six new classrooms at both Mariner and Beacon middle schools. The state has agreed to pay 60 percent of total construction costs, leaving residents about $11 million to pay.
Residents of an average home of $250,000, which is assessed at $21,546 will pay $59 more a year when the full increase goes into effect in 2017. Senior citizens 65 years old or older are eligible for 50 percent savings on their property taxes up to $500.
The total property tax rate increase is 27 cents, which breaks down to 10 cents per $100 of assessed property for capital improvement costs, and another 17 cents for operating expenses. The 10-cent increase would expire after 30 years; the 17 cents would be a permanent tax increase.
Board Vice President Roni Posner said the district delivered a clear message that people listened to and understood.
"This is a great day for Cape. The community saw the need and they supported it," she said.