BETHEL — The SAD 44 board decided Monday to set up a subcommittee to explore options for the Andover Elementary School.

Superintendent David Murphy said Andover selectmen are expected to either serve as a subcommittee or appoint others. They would meet with a SAD 44 comprised of Murphy, Woodstock board member Marcel Polak and Bethel representative Carol Everett, he said. Bethel representative Roberta Taylor will serve as an alternate.

The superintendent said the meeting between the two subcommittees must be held before the next board meeting Jan. 27. At that time, options developed by the subcommittees will be presented to the board.

The meeting is a result of last week’s vote by Andover residents to not withdraw from SAD 44, which also includes Bethel, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock.

That vote, which required a two-thirds majority for passage, failed by six votes. The tally was 238 in favor and 131 opposed.

The withdrawal effort was prompted by a vote of the SAD 44 board in 2011 to close the small, nearly 100-year-old school building due to declining enrollment and increasing maintenance costs.

The school houses about 35 students from kindergarten to fifth grade.

The town has paid $422,000 extra to keep the school open the past three years. It also formed the Andover Withdrawal Committee to develop a state-approved educational plan for its 100 or so students.

Options for the school, so far, are closure or paying more money to keep it open.

“We’ll sit down to see if we can look at other options, other avenues,” Murphy said.

A decision must be made before the 2014-15 school budget is developed, he said.


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