WALES — Residents of the three towns that make up Regional School Unit 4, Litchfield Sabattus and Wales, favor repairing existing  schools and keeping the two primary schools in operation.

The voters made their preferences known in a nonbinding referendum at the polls Tuesday.

The majority of voters — 443 from all three towns —  opted to complete $1.8 million worth of capital improvement projects via a 20-year bond and maintain the current school configuration.

Some 220 voters preferred to renovate Oak Hill High School in Wales and build an addition to either Carrie Ricker School in Litchfield or Oak Hill Middle  School in Sabattus to accommodate grades prekindergarten through two.

And with regard to the latter, 311 voters — two-thirds of those from Litchfield — wanted to add onto Carrie Ricker and make that a prekindergarten-grade five school.

An additional 145 voters — 60 from Sabattus — wanted to add onto Oak Hill Middle School and convert that to a pre-kindergarten to grade five school. Carrie Ricker would then become the middle school housing grades six through eight.

And 179 voters wanted to build a separate prekindergarten-grade two wing at Oak Hill Middle School.

In Wales at least, a number of voters appeared to be confused, with up to 30 ballots left blank on one question.

Superintendent James Hodgkin said the straw poll results were what board members and administrators had anticipated.

He said the bottom line is that most voters were not willing to consider moving the youngest children out of the existing primary schools in Litchfield and Sabattus.

“I really can’t predict at this point where the board’s going to go with that information,” Hodgkin said on Wednesday.


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