Everyone who spoke recognized that the new Mount Greylock was the result of countless hours of volunteer effort and the support of voters in Lanesborough and Williamstown. And all acknowledged that while a new building is important, it is just part of the school's story.
Owner's project manager Trip Elmore told the panel that on Friday, documents would be submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.
At the latest meeting of the School Building Committee, the panel pressed Turner Construction Vice President Carl Stewart III for a date when the general contractor finally will finish work on the school's auditorium.
At issue was a patch of land currently occupied by trailers related to the $64 million building project. As construction winds down, construction manager Turner Construction plans to remove the trailers and return the land to its natural state.
At issue is about $154,000 billed to the regional school district for permitting. In fact, the town is owed about $295,000, based on its standard permit fee schedule, but about half of that has been passed through to subcontractors on the school building project.
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.