Tisbury voters go to the polls next week to make a final decision on the much-debated $46.6 million new school project that has caused deep divisions in town.

The annual town election is Tuesday. Polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. in the town public safety building on Spring street.

A large turnout is expected due to the school question, the largest capital spending initiative in the history of the town. The question asks voters to exempt the debt on the project from the provisions of Proposition 2 1/2, the state-mandated tax cap.

At the annual town meeting two weeks ago, voters approved the school project by a wide margin (316 to 99) after two nights of heated debate.

“Now we have to remind people that’s their obligation to show up at the polls,” said selectman Melinda Loberg this week. “I do hear people commenting one way or another [on the school project], but they don’t all seem aware that there’s another step in the process.”

Mrs. Loberg has not taken a position on the school project, which has been in the planning stages for two years under the umbrella of the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

There are 3,529 registered voters in Tisbury, according to town clerk Hillary Conklin. She said she expects unofficial election results will be available shortly after the polls close on Tuesday night. The town uses voting machines and there is only one contested race on the ballot, for the finance committee.

At the annual town meeting the school question was moved to the top of the agenda on a 40-article warrant. Discussion ran for two nights and drew an overflow crowd of more than 400 voters each night. The article required a two-thirds majority vote, and easily passed in a standing vote.

A simple majority is needed in order for the question to pass in the ballot box.

The school building committee, composed of 17 members from the school and the town, is proposing to build a new, 76,000-square-foot facility on the same site as the current school. The existing school which dates to 1929 would be used to house students during construction and then demolished, according to the plan.

The project has drawn passionate debate from town officials and citizens alike, many of whom attended the school themselves decades ago. The Commentary Page in today’s edition is filled with letters on the subject from selectmen, building committee members and Tisbury residents.

Following a competitive application process, the school building committee has worked with the MSBA since early 2016 to develop the plan. The state program has committed more than $14.6 million in funding support for the project pending town approval of the override question on the ballot. That leaves the town responsible for borrowing about $32 million. If the measure fails at the ballot, Tisbury risks losing MSBA funding.

With the guidance of the MSBA, the committee has chosen Daedelus Projects as their owner’s project manager. Turowski 2 architects have designed the proposed building, which building committee members say will accommodate a new era of flexible learning environments, a larger cafeteria and better technology. Among other benefits, proponents of the new school say it will better serve students with special needs. Some special needs classes currently take place in a modular unit outside the existing school.

The proposed building would be larger than the existing one and is designed to serve 285 students in grades kindergarten through eight. The school would also be able to serve students in pre-K. Construction would begin in the summer of 2019, with an estimated completion date of August of 2021.

Opponents include taxpayers who worry about whether they can afford the steep cost of the new school. If the measure passes, taxes are expected to increase about $100 per $100,000 of property value and would continue to stay elevated for the next 20 years.

Other critics advocate for a renovation and addition to the existing school over building a new school, citing the historical significance of the old brick building, and calling new construction wasteful and more harmful to the environment. Some too have expressed concern about increased maintenance costs for the larger building.

The school question is the most watched issue on the ballot this year, but when they go to the polls Tuesday voters will also elect new town leaders.

The lone contested race on the ballot is for a three-year term on the finance committee. Four candidates are vying for three positions: Paul Cefola, Nancy Gilfoy, and Thomas Lawrence Keller are all running for re-election, while Laura Rose has joined the race as well.

Selectman Larry Gomez will not seek re-election after serving a single term. Island business owner and electrician Jim Rogers is running unopposed for the seat.