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Emergency Shelter Upgrades Completed at THS

Superintendent William Guzman said that a number of projects have wrapped up at Tolland High School to improve its use as an emergency shelter for residents.

Superintendent William Guzman updated the school board at its Wednesday meeting on several projects that have been completed at to make the building more suitable as an emergency shelter for residents.

Guzman said that five out of seven recommended upgrades are finished, including:

  • Emergency power connections for the building control system
  • Emergency power connections for the hot water system for Area C, kitchen and all locker rooms
  • Emergency power connections for the HVAC units for the gym, atrium and cafeteria
  • Emergency power connections for the Home Economic refrigerator units and LP cooking equipment
  • New emergency circuit breaker panels for the HVAC rooftop unit for the mini gym

The upgrades were completed with to turn the high school into a viable large shelter during emergencies.

The high school, which was completed in 2006, has had a generator, but was not properly wired to operate as an emergency shelter.

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Guzman said that the town was going to install emergency circuit breakers for the auditorium, as well, but that the upgrade was postponed due to the estimated $13,000 project cost. A diesel fuel tank will also be moved from town hall to the high school in the near future.

The school board also received a report from the New England School Development Council presenting the findings of its Strategic Plan for the school district.

According to the results, which were compiled during the 2011-2012 school year from 427 survey responses and a number of focus groups, school district communication, technology, 21st century learning skills, parent/community engagement and student/learning curriculum were all identified as areas to address.

Guzman said that the school district administration will take the detailed report and create a streamlined action plan to implement the findings, which will be presented to the board sometime this fall.

"We have been missing this as a guiding point," said Chairperson Andy Powell. "This is not going to be a dusty document."

Powell said that the study will give the school district a definitive direction and plan for the future, guided by the input gathered from community members.

The school board's next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Irene September 13, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Kudos! I helped staff the "shower sign-up" table during Storm Irene and saw firsthand how many residents utilized the services offered at THS. These services helped the community tremendously by providing a safe haven and fellowship. I consider this money well spent, and thank those responsible for moving forward in a timely manner.

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