ANDOVER — A special town meeting is set for 10 a.m. April 20 at the Andover Town Hall to discuss raising an additional $72,000 to keep the elementary school open for the 2013-14 school year.

Susan Merrow, chairwoman of the Andover Withdrawal Committee and a selectman, said a public hearing on the issue is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the town office.

The SAD 44 board voted two years ago to close the Andover Elementary School because of declining enrollment and the cost of operating the the nearly 100-year-old building. About 30 students in kindergarten to fifth grade attend the school.

The town raised an extra $214,000, on top of its annual assessment of $400,000 to $450,000, to keep it open for 2011-12; and $68,000 extra for 2012-13. Last month, SAD 44 turned down the town’s offer to pay $68,000 extra to keep the school open another year.

The town voted last year to form a committee to develop a plan to withdraw from the five-town district and operate its own school system. It’s negotiating with the SAD 44 board on terms of withdrawal and another meeting is set for 2 p.m. April 11 at the SAD 44 central office in Bethel.

Merrow said via email that if an agreement is reached, it will go to the commissioner of the Department of Education for consideration. The department is responsible for setting a date for Andover residents to vote on withdrawal.

SAD 44’s other towns are Bethel, Newry, Woodstock and Greenwood.

The Andover Withdrawal Committee meets at 6 p.m. Sundays at the Andover Public Library and residents are invited to attend.


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