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Money approved for Bethel High School electrical improvements

A Special Town Meeting was held in Bethel last week about approving money for electrical improvements at Bethel High School. 


The $87,400 includes a 15-percent contingency.  $32,400 was previously approved to install an emergency generator at the school.  $55,000 will come from the current Fiscal Year capital non-recurring account for the work.  The Boards of Finance and Selectmen previously signed off on the appropriation. 


One resident asked how soon the work would begin.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says power will have to be turned off in sections of the building while work is done, which would need to work around the schedule of the school.  The work should be completed by the end of December. 


Board of Education Chairman Larry Craybas says the work will allow the generator to service all individual areas that are now being supported by three separate panels. 


School Supervisor of Facility and Security Operations Robert Germinaro explains that there are three existing panels, one dating back to the 1970s.  All three panels were installed at different times.  The work will consolidate three panels in one room and make the system compatible.


The generator is needed because of the IT nerve center and the possibility of having to shelter a large number of people if there is a natural disaster.


Assistant Public Works Director Bob Dibble explained that there is a high probability of system failure if the work isn't done.  The new generator can't be hooked up to the system because there's a chance that the action would cause the existing panels to blow.  The existing generator had already been paid for and is not part of the money being requested.

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