BETHEL — School Administrative District 44 residents voted Tuesday night to approve spending $576,000 from capital reserves for roofing, playground and heating system improvements.

The three articles were included in the 2016-17 budget warrant presented for a hearing and vote at Telstar Regional High School.

Voters authorized spending up to $90,000 to repair the roof at the Telstar school complex that houses middle and high school students.

Superintendent David Murphy said once the work is done, all the school roofs in the district “will be in very good shape.”

Voters also authorized spending up to $116,000 to build new playground equipment at Woodstock Elementary and Crescent Park elementary schools.

“That doesn’t mean we’ll spend exactly $116,000,” Murphy said. “It means the board is being authorized to spend up to that amount.”


He said the equipment is being replaced is because it was made from pressure-treated lumber.

“In this day and age, the state and feds frown on pressure-treated lumber because it has high arsenic levels.”

The board authorized removal of the old equipment last year.

The third project author izes spending up to $370,000 for a wood pellet boiler and carbon monoxide detectors at Crescent Park Elementary School in Bethel.

The school has an oil-fired furnace, and adding a wood pellet boiler would allow the district to save money by taking advantage of weather conditions and fuel prices.

“When it’s not very cold out, or when the weather is nicer, the school would be able to work on fewer BTUs, using a pellet system,” Murphy said. “When there’s extreme cold, we could switch over to an oil furnace. It could also depend on whatever is cheaper at the time.”

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