Residents of the Racine Unified School District gave district leaders Tuesday the go ahead to plan and pay for $128 million in maintenance and repairs through a 15-year referendum.

The final tally was 28,645 “yay” votes to 22,247 “nay” votes.

Voters’ approval means the district can legally raise the tax levy by $8.5 million each year for the next 15 years to pay for upgrades in school buildings and build two new schools to replace Olympia Brown and Knapp elementary schools. The pricetag for building new elementary schools is around $13 million while repairs are estimated at much higher at each of those facilities.

Schools located in the Villages of Mount Pleasant, Caledonia and Sturtevant would get $39 million worth of improvements, including almost $14 million at Case High School and an addition at Gifford Elementary to expand it to a K – 8 school.

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