WALLINGFORD — A survey of more than 2,500 people with connections to the town’s school system found that nearly 80 percent favored some form of significant renovation of district school buildings.

The results of the survey, conducted May 23- July 15, were presented to the Board of Education Monday night at Town Hall. The results were presented to the board by Rebecca Augur, a principal partner with the Cheshire-based Milone & MacBroom consulting firm.

Milone & MacBroom has been advising the board since last year on district facilities needs with school enrollments expected to decline. The firm initially presented six options involving all of the district’s schools and the board had reduced the number of choices to three by the beginning of April.

The first of the three options called for maintaining the district’s two high schools and two middle schools and making only selected capital improvements, at a cost of $15.6 million.

The second option calls for renovating all four schools so they would essentially be new buildings. That option, which includes air-conditioning, has an estimated $117.2 million price tag.

The third option calls for consolidating Lyman Hall and Mark T. Sheehan high schools into a single one to serve the district. The single high school building would be renovated as new, with air-conditioning added to both middle schools, for an estimated cost of $103.5 million.

Augur said of the three options, the largest percentage of survey respondents — 44 percent — favored renovating the middle and high schools so they would essentially be new buildings. The second most popular plan — selected by 35 percent of respondents — was consolidating into one high school and renovating that building and the two middle schools as new.

The next step in the process is for the board to meet with officials of the state agency that oversees school construction costs. Board Chairwoman Roxane McKay, a Republican, said that meeting is scheduled for Sept. 9.

“This is a process and we are still gathering information at a very, very high level.” McKay said.

She said the Town Council ultimately will determine which of the three options will move forward.

Mike Votto, a Democratic board member, said he was pleased that the survey showed “most people, when they prioritized, (said) programming was very important.”

“That kind of validates everything we’re doing ,” Votto said. “They know we have good programs in place. To make them better, we need (to) renovate some of these schools.”

The survey showed the two most popular responses among survey participants ages 55-64 were option 1 and option 3.

The least expensive of the three, option one, was supported by 24 percent of the respondents in that age group. Option three, the most expensive option, was favored by 17 percent of the respondents in that age group.

luther.turmelle@hearstmediact.com