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Bethel residents called on to approve funding for school chiller plant equipment

A special Town Meeting is being held in Bethel tonight for residents to weigh in on replacing the chiller plant and water treatment equipment at Bethel Middle School.  The money would come from the the Fund Balance. 

A consulting firm has completed a study of Berry School, started at the high school and moved onto the Middle School.  The Middle School was designed with very few windows and is meant to have air conditioning. 

Superintendent Dr. Christine Carver and Director of Fiscal Services Theresa Yonsky explained and shared information on the replacement of the chiller plant with the Board of Selectmen.  They say an air-cooled system would be less expensive than a water-cooled system.  The Board of Finance was asked to sign off on the bidding process, purchase and installation of chiller plant and water treatment equipment, not to exceed $450,000. 

The school officials were told the current equipment might not hold through the next warm season, which is part of the reason why the work is not being included in the budget for the coming fiscal year. 

Carver says it's not just about being comfortable, but what it does about the interior of the building and the possibility of mold developing.  She says there were a few days when the system went down.  At the beginning of the school year there were some especially hot days, and other districts cancelled classes.  The humidity levels built up so much that the building was raining in some spots and kids were slipping.

The meeting is at 7pm in Meeting Room A of the Municipal Center. 

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Todd Schnitt

Local Headlines