Resident Matt Sheehy asked the board to encourage the district to push for a waiver of the fees, arguing that makes fiscal sense for local taxpayers and political sense for the future of the two-town regional school district not to expect the bill to be paid.
Earlier in the day, school and town officials clarified that the issues holding up the TCO were typical for a building project of this size and in no way related to the functionality of the renovated and expanded middle-high school.
After repeated public assurances from its construction manager that the new Mount Greylock Regional School will be ready for the Sept. 6 opening of school, the district Friday informed staff and families that the building failed Thursday in its second attempt to obtain a temporary certificate of occupancy.
Meanwhile, the town of Williamstown has notified the district that the project has run up more than $300,000 in permitting fees already, and with the major part of construction coming to an end, the town has asked the district to settle its accounts.
But in just a couple of weeks, the district gets back to business: educating the children from its member towns plus New Ashford and Hancock.
And for the middle and high school students, that means a whole new experience, which the School Building Committee took a few moments to celebrate at its Thursday meeting.
The board had determined to move in that direction at last month's meeting but had held off on approving the $173,600 required for architects Perkins Eastman in Boston to develop planning documents and permitting for the building.
One thing that appears to finally be off the table is any solution for the district office that involves an existing "off-campus" building. District officials searched for more than a year to find a workable solution that did not involve new construction. Unfortunately, Bergeron said, any such structure would have involved costly modifications that made an existing property impractical at any price.
Demolition is well underway at the Cold Spring Road campus, where Holyoke's American Environmental has taken the lead on tearing down the two classroom wings that have been replaced by a three-story addition as part of the school district's $64 million building project.
On Tuesday, the School Building Committee heard a confident update from the district's construction manager, Turner Construction.
The last time the committee met, the new three-story classroom wing, central core and cafeteria had completion targets of July 6, Aug. 2 and July 26, respectively. Those dates have been adjusted to July 3, July 17 and July 24.
Committee members gave the district's construction team a deadline of June 5, the committee's next scheduled meeting, to come with a recommendation and a realistic assessment of any potential issues that could jeopardize the availability of the school's new spaces on or about Sept. 1.
Committee members offered some additional feedback about the orientation of the planned pre-fab building, but most of the discussion centered around the cost and, specifically, how to bring it in line with plan to leave $1.5 million in a building endowment.
That motion failed on a vote of 4-4, with Cohen joined by Steven Wentworth, Jesse Wirtes and Al Terranova. Hugh Daley, Mark Schiek, Paula Consolini and Principal Mary MacDonald, a voting member of the committee, voted against the change.
Richard Cohen pushed back hard against a decision not to purchase classroom whiteboards that are compatible with the touchscreen capability in the projectors the district has purchased — challenging both the decision itself and the process by which it was made.
Mike Giso of Turner Construction addressed a joint meeting of the school district's Transition Committee and the Mount Greylock School Building Committee to explain the revised phasing plan for the building project.
For months, the School Building Committee and the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee have been considering whether to include the parking lot in the ongoing addition/renovation project at Mount Greylock.
The district's School Building Committee on Tuesday learned that the construction schedule is being adjusted to reflect the reality that the building will not be ready for occupancy during April recess, as planners originally hoped.
On Thursday, the building committee approved $117,000 worth of change orders, including about $80,000 for a change to the roof of the renovated gymnasium.
Those and previously approved changes bring the contingency line down to about $1.86 million.
The committee agreed with its School Building Committee that a renovated parking lot should be kept in the project if contingency fees are available, and Greenfield architectural firm Jones-Whitsett presented options to redo the athletic fields at the school.
It is still eight months before the first classes are held in the renovated Mount Greylock Regional School.
But the members of the School Committee and School Building Committee who got a sneak peek on Thursday had no trouble picturing what those classrooms will look like.