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Meeting planned to discuss renovations at Haigh School

SALEM - With a plan to repair the HVAC system at the aging Haigh Elementary School defeated by voters in March, a special meeting will be held later this month to consider the district's options.

Parents, staff and community members are encouraged to attend the public meeting, which will be held in the Haigh School's all-purpose room on April 30 at 7 p.m.

Members of the Salem School Board will be present to answer questions and brainstorm, Haigh School Principal Christine Honey-Nadeau said on Monday.

Voters at the March 12 polls rejected Article 3, which asked for $895,237 for repairs at Haigh School, but passed Article 2, a $16.2 million bond article for renovations at Fisk, Soule and Haigh schools. In addition to funding new additions at Fisk and Soule Schools, Article 2 allows for a new fire safety sprinkler system, security upgrades and improved lighting at Haigh School, but the question remains as to how the school will address its aging HVAC system that would have been funded via Article 3. The passage of Article 3 was contingent upon Article 2 passing, but the issue of what would happen if Article 2 passed but 3 didn't wasn't addressed, which is why the district is holding the special public meeting.

In 2012, a $21.5 million bond to renovate those three schools was rejected by voters, though the other elementary schools in the district had already undergone renovations similar to the ones being proposed.

A public hearing on Haigh School renovations had initially been scheduled to take place before the March elections, but a snowstorm forced school officials to cancel the meeting.

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