Bernardston Selectboard talks school repairs following tour

  • Repairs to Bernardston Elementary School’s heating system and the addition of electrical outlets were deemed high priorities during the Selectboard’s recent school tour. Staff File Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2019 5:15:32 PM

BERNARDSTON — Repairs to Bernardston Elementary School’s heating system and the addition of electrical outlets were deemed high priorities during the Selectboard’s recent school tour.

The Selectboard toured the building to assess potential capital improvement projects for next year, Selectboard member Brian Kier said, while also considering how occupied the building is now that Leyden students are attending Bernardston Elementary. The board then discussed its findings in a meeting last week.

Pioneer Valley Regional School District Facilities Director Tim Randall, Bernardston Elementary Principal Kelly Carriere and town Finance Committee members also attended the tour.

“We took a couple bullet items away as some things we should look at, with the heating system being a priority,” Kier said.

According to Kier, multiple teachers expressed issues with temperature control in their classrooms. Repairing the heating system, as Kier explained, would include the air exchangers in the building, some of which are not functioning properly.

In addition to the heating system, the Selectboard took note of increased technological resources in the school. With more use of technology, there are not enough wall outlets for all of the tools that teachers use. The district has been doing what it can to add outlets for computers, iPads and projectors, Kier said.

“Overall, we found the building to be in pretty decent shape,” Kier noted.

He said the Selectboard hopes to work with Randall to keep communication open and meet multiple times in the coming year to discuss capital improvement projects. To start, Bernardston Elementary’s west wing will be getting insulated this fall.

While most of the school is in decent shape, Garland proposed looking into creating more storage space and replacing old furniture.

Garland agreed with the need for updated heating and electrical systems, adding that the basketball court and the floor of the art room are in need of repairs. Garland said it’s time to get an expert in to assess the cost of getting everything “up to speed.”

“It’s not going to be a cheap thing, it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. “It’s not getting any younger. It’s time to fix it and get it done right.”

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.




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