MEMS to see building upgrades

MANCHESTER - The Manchester Elementary Middle School will be seeing some upgrades to its building.

The school's elevator will see some needed maintenance and upgrades. While they are making the upgrades to it, it will be adjusted to allow for both passengers and cargo use, said MEMS Principal Sarah Merrill during Tuesday's school board meeting.

The cost of the upgrades will be about $36,700 and the work will be performed by Agawam, Mass. -based Bay State Elevator Co.

The school is also overhauling its fire alarm system. This will be a two-phase project, Merrill said; the first will involve a complete installation of alarm notification for sound and light, and a second phase will include installing a new alarm panel to go along with that. The first part of the fire alarm project will cost $10,515 and the second will total about $18,300. The contract, following a competitive bidding process, was awarded to Catamount Security and Electric Co. of Danby, Merrill said.

"We're looking to develop a long-term plan for a building update and security," she said in a separate phone interview Wednesday.

Gary Mears, the school's building, grounds and transportation supervisor, conducted a tour of the building for the school board directors at the start of the meeting on Tuesday to review the status of the physical plant.

The long term goal is to improve the building's safety and energy efficiency, said School Superintendent Daniel French during Tuesday's meeting. Another piece they are hoping to address is improving the lighting around the school, French said. Efficiency Vermont is operated by private nonprofit organization, the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. to promote energy reduction and cost savings, has a new program of incentives in place that the schol district hopes to take advantage of, he said. The elevator and the fire alarm projects were already part of the school's budget and wouldn't require any special expenditures, Merrill said.

School directors also heard some preliminary good news on the budget on Tuesday night.

The school district had been anticipating ending its fiscal year at the end of last June with a deficit of $79,000, but early and unaudited numbers suggest instead that it will end the fiscal year with a surplus of $47,000, French told the directors.


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