VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — One of the most-watched issues on the ballot is in Vigo County. It concerns the Vigo County School Corporation’s Facilities Referendum.

Voters were asked if the VCSC should increase property taxes to fund the renovations and site improvements of the three high schools in the corporation.

With 100% of precincts reporting, the unofficial results show the referendum failed by a vote of 12,482 against the referendum to 5,740 in favor of the referendum.

It’s a disappointing result for the VCSC, 68% of voters who cast a ballot chose to deny the proposed $261 million referendum. The project would have funded the renovation and rebuilding of the corporation’s three high schools. Superintendent Dr. Rob Haworth says he is disappointed in the result and will discuss with the school board what steps can be taken next to improve the high schools. Dr. Haworth mentioned the possibility of using federal dollars to fund repairs.

“An election is about one of the largest community meetings that you can have,” said Dr. Haworth. “Today our community spoke loud and clear that they did not want to address our high school issues with a 261-million dollar project.”

Steve Ellis who campaigned against the referendum said he also sees the issues the high schools have.

“Those of us that voted no on the referendum, that’s not us saying that we don’t think something needs to be done in the schools. I think most of us think something needs to be in our schools and a lot of us are going to be a part of that solution,” said Ellis. “We just did not agree with the method of which they (VCSC) were approaching it and we didn’t agree with this massive tax on the residents of Terre Haute and Vigo County.”

Ahead of the election the VCSC had explained that should the referendum pass, they would end an optional referendum that had previously passed. With Tuesday’s result, that optional referendum will remain in place.