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Mount Greylock School Building Committee Still Wrapping Up

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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Jamie Art and Andrea Wadsworth participate in their first School Committee meeting since being named a member of the committee and the district's business manager, respectively. The School Committee met briefly Tuesday.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School may have been home to a full year of classes and may look to be a finished product, but there is still work going on at the school this summer, and visitors to campus should take note.
 
"We're working with the commissioning agent on wrapping up commissioning and the punch list," Superintendent Kimberley Grady told the School Building Committee on Tuesday. "There is some interior work going on with exterior landscape and concrete work. If a [construction] sign is posted, it's a real sign.
 
"We're not having any tours at this time because of items in the hallway we need out of rooms for punch list items to be worked on. As soon as that's cleared out, [Principal Mary MacDonald] has plans for tours in mid- to late-August."
 
Tuesday's meeting was the first since April. The main order of business on the brief agenda was an executive session "to discuss strategy with respect to litigation."
 
Prior to the building committee meeting, the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee held a brief meeting with a single item of business: to approve a new slate for the building committee.
 
Specifically, Tim Sears, the district's new director of buildings and grounds and Andrea Wadsworth, the new assistant superintendent for business and finance, were added to the School Building Committee roster, filling seats held by their predecessors at the district.
 
Wadsworth, a member of the Lee School Committee, took over the Mount Greylock business office this summer after the district engaged The Management Solution of Auburn for the last two years.
 
She and Sears join a School Building Committee that now includes Grady, MacDonald, School Committee members Steven Miller and Al Terranova, Williamstown Select Board member Hugh Daley, Lanesborough Select Board member John Goerlach, Williamstown Finance Committee member Paula Consolini, Lanesborough Fin Comm member Steve Wentworth, Williamstown resident Thomas Bartels and Lanesborough resident Mark Schiek, who serves as chairman.
 
Given the size of the panel, finding meeting times that work for a quorum of members has been a problem.
 
That is why the School Committee this spring named a finance subcommittee to help expedite the payment of bills on the $64 million addition/renovation budget at the middle-high school.
 
Schiek, Daley, Wentworth and Grady form the subcommittee, which meets as needed in posted public meetings to review invoices and recommend them for payment — or not — to the School Committee.
 
"We are handling invoices as they come in similarly to the way they were handled by the full School Building Committee," Schiek said. "We question members of the project team about the need for them ... and vote them to move forward to the School Committee to be paid."
 
Grady explained that the subcommittee was formed in consultation with the Massachusetts School Building Authority and essentially is a continuation and formalization of the School Building Committee's finance working group. That working group developed the financing plan for the building project back at its outset.
 
"We process the bills as before, making sure we're justifying costs," Daley said. "We're very much continuing the process of the larger group, but this way we can pay bills with four people instead of having to find eight."
 
"It's better than getting all the way up here only to find out there are only six people [available for an SBC meeting]," Terranova said.
 
The School Building Committee set its next meeting for Aug. 20.

Tags: MGRHS school project,   school building committee,   

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Williamstown Fire District Seeks Candidates for Governing Body Spots

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Prudential Committee members Ed Briggs, left, and Ed McGowan participate in Wednesday's meeting.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Fire District has targeted Oct. 29 for a special election to fill two new seats on the Prudential Committee.

Now it just needs candidates to fill those seats.
 
In 2018, district voters OKed a proposal to expand the three-member committee that oversees the district. The enabling legislation to change the district's charter was approved in Boston at the end of the most recent session.
 
Rather than wait until its regular election in May, the committee wants to open the new positions as soon as possible, which means an aggressive election calendar that would see nomination papers available in early September and due by the middle of the month.
 
"Nomination papers need to be back and certified 49 days prior to the election," district Clerk/Treasurer Corydon Thurston told the committee at Wednesday's monthly meeting.
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