Jan. 20—ELLINGTON — Three of the town’s public schools will be getting upgrades to their heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems now that residents approved the project at a referendum Thursday.
The vote, in a 3.1% turnout, was 267 in favor and 91 against appropriating $6,736,250 for the systems at the high school, middle school, and Center Elementary School.
The project cost could be reimbursed up to 55% by a state grant the district applied for in December.
Brian Greenleaf, director of finance and operations for Ellington schools, said the state is expected to make its decision on rewarding grant money by the end of this month.
Receipt of the grant is contingent upon approval of the project at referendum.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, schools across the state have sought funding to upgrade their ventilation systems to reduce the spread of airborne illnesses.
The project is expected to include new boilers, dedicated outdoor systems and building management systems, and the repair and replacement of specified roofing sections.
The $6.7 million could be spent on design, installation, site improvements, removal of materials and discarded equipment, permitting and environmental costs, wiring, pipes, sensors, thermostats, and related fees.
A permanent building committee will determine the project’s scope and particulars.
The district hired Consulting Engineering Services to conduct a review of the three schools’ air quality systems. The district aims to first install dedicated outdoor air and boiler systems.
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