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Mount Greylock School Will Resubmit Proposal to MSBA

By Stephen Dravis
Williamstown Correspondent
03:00PM / Friday, November 09, 2012
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The chairman of the panel charged with finding ways to address the declining infrastructure at Mount Greylock Regional High School says the district may resubmit its proposal to the Massachusetts School Building Authority as soon as next month.

Late Thursday, the quasi-independent government authority released the agenda for its Nov. 14 board meeting, and Mount Greylock district is not scheduled to be discussed. (See below)

Carrie Greene said Friday that the deadline for statements of interest for the next fiscal year generally comes in January. The MGRSD submitted its most recent SOI in December 2011.

On Thursday, the MSBA announced the agenda for the Nov. 14 meeting of its board of directors. At that meeting, three school districts will be considered for admission into the authority's eligibility period for funding renovations or new construction.

Mount Greylock had hoped to receive that consideration but was not invited to next Wednesday's meeting.

"What we'll do is talk to officials in the MSBA and talk to our state representatives and see what we can do to strengthen our case," said Greene, who chairs the Building Subcommittee of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.

Greene said the committee may have to start addressing some of the more pressing needs at the 1960s-era building rather than aiming for either a complete overhaul or a new building.

"It may be that we're too close to the last project, the (2009) boiler replacement," she said. "If that's the case, we may need to take a different approach and look at things like the science labs and the ventilation system.

"We were given every indication [by MSBA] that we shouldn't take a piecemeal approach. We're kind of back to the drawing board and have to see what we can do."

When Mount Greylock replaced its boiler and repaired a failing roof over its locker rooms, the state authority kicked in 54 percent.

Among the next steps for the school district is close study of the three projects that are on the agenda for the Nov. 14 meeting, Greene said. Out of 190 SOIs submitted across the commonwealth, the authority invited districts from Holyoke, Scituate and Woburn to the table.

The Mount Greylock district has been been submitting SOIs since at least 2006.

"We've gotten very little feedback in the past," Greene said. "We were able to find out where we were on the list. ... Depending on how far down we are, that will certainly have an effect on what we do next."

Greene said her Building Subcommittee, which met with Williamstown's Finance Committee earlier this month, plans to proceed with a similar meeting with the Lanesborough Finance Committee.

"We can't afford to lose the momentum right now," she said. "There's a lot of support from both communities. We need to capitalize on that."


Mount Greylock Left Off MSBA Agenda; North Adams On

Original post on Nov. 9, 2012, at 12:43 a.m.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District will have to wait for another time to get its day in front of the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Late Thursday, the quasi-independent government authority released the agenda for its Nov. 14 board meeting, and Mount Greylock district is not scheduled to be discussed.

District officials this fall mentioned repeatedly their hope that the MSBA would at the Nov. 14 meeting discuss the district's "statement of interest" to partner with the authority to replace or renovate the aging junior-senior high school on Cold Spring Road.

"My sense is that once you're on the agenda, you're on your way," MGRSD Superintendent Rose Ellis said on Oct. 26.

However, two other Berkshire County school districts further along the pipeline are on the agenda. North Adams is hoping for approval of a funding agreement to move ahead with the $31 million Conte School project. Berkshire Hills Regional School District will be presenting schematic designs for a $52 million science wing at Monument Mountain Regional High School, built in 1968.

The MSBA is funded by 1 cent of the commonwealth's 6.5-cent sales tax. In 2009, the authority funded 54 percent of the cost of roof repairs and a boiler replacement project at Mount Greylock.

Ellis and the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee's Building Subcommittee met with the Williamstown Finance Committee to discuss the project earlier this month and plans a similiar meeting with the Lanesborough Finance Committee in December.

At that time, members of the School Committee said that if they did not get on the agenda for the Nov. 14 meeting, they would come back with another statement of interest and begin the process again.

Ellis said 190 school districts submitted SOIs to the MSBA this year. According to the agenda posted on the authority's website, massschoolbuildings.org, three (Holyoke, Scituate and Woburn) are going to be considered to advance to the MSBA's Eligibility Period, the first step on the road to funding.

Tags: Conte School,   MGRHS,   Monument Mountain,   MSBA,   school project,   

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