BETHEL — The town will hold a special town meeting next Tuesday regarding a $4.18 million appropriation for improvements and enhancements to Bethel High School’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
The system — which was not updated when the school was renovated in 2007 to 2009 — has posed problems for several years.
Freezing temperatures in January 2018 caused the heating and air conditioning unit in the school’s gym, as well as other systems across campus, to fail — forcing the school to move some classes and install temporary heating systems until permanent repairs could be made. A large rooftop unit above the gym was so badly damaged that it had to be completely replaced.
During Bethel’s Jan. 3 special town meeting, voters will set a date for a referendum on the $4.18 million appropriation.
If approved, the money will come from bonding, bond anticipatory notes, temporary borrowing and/or other appropriations with available grants or reimbursements obtained by the town used to reduce the cost.
With roughly $1.5 million already allocated to the project — $700,000 from the school district’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund grant money and $855,000 from the town’s American Rescue Plan Act funds — the school district is seeking more funding through the state HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grants for Public Schools program.
Last month, the Board of Selectmen recommended that at least $1.7 million of the project be funded by the state grant.
Bethel’s Jan. 3 special town meeting will take place in meeting room A of the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.