Air, heat improved at Bethel school

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BETHEL — Telstar Regional Middle/High School has healthier air and more consistent heat in its classrooms as the result of $2.3 million grant received last year, Superintendent David Murphy said this week.

Murphy said the SAD 44 board heard a presentation Monday by Buildings, Grounds and Transportation Director Ron Deegan and lead custodian Arlynn Hale about the changes at the complex.

Murphy said the temperatures in the classrooms are now consistent and the air quality has improved greatly.

“There is much more consistent heat and the building is much healthier now,” he said. Carbon monoxide is constantly measured to assure safe levels.

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Temperatures can be controlled from anywhere by a computerized system, he said, and overridden, if necessary, from off-site.

The next step in improving the 40-plus-year-old building may involve changing the heating system. Murphy said the Facilities Committee is looking into switching from oil to wood pellets. No cost has been given, but he said it’s likely the fuel savings will offset the cost of installing a new system.

A decision by the board will take place in April.

Deegan also presented information on the Transfinder transportation software used to track the bus routes.

Murphy said the system can measure the times between stops, summarize miles driven and locate bus route stops, among other information.

In other matters, Murphy said the first of two meetings was held last week with parents of students who may want to attend Central Maine Community College in Auburn during their senior year in high school. He said 10 families expressed interest in the no-cost pilot program.

Four seniors are taking courses at the college now.

The board set a second meeting for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Telstar library.

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