NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Greylock Elementary School has made it into the eligibility phase to look into renovating or replacing the 60-year-old building.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors voted at its meeting on Wednesday to invite the North Adams Public Schools into the first step of the school building process.
"The board has voted the Greylock Elementary School into the eligibility period," said Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, chairman of the MSBA. "The MSBA will work collaboratively with local officials to ensure the best outcome for the district's students."
A statement of interest, or SOI, was submitted in 2017, the first time an SOI had been submitted since 2010, when the school was included in a study related to the closure of Conte Middle School. At the time, the city had sought a "two-school" solution by renovating both Conte and Greylock, but the MSBA opted for only renovating Conte. The $30 million Colegrove Park Elementary School opened in 2016.
The City Council and School Committee authorized the submission of an SOI again in 2018 and a more detailed and extensive statement was submitted earlier this year.
The 59,000-square-foot school has been next on the priority list for nearly a decade now and its problems have grown worse. It was built in 1953 with an addition in 1965. The roof was replaced in 2003 but many other items are original or more than 20 years old, with the exception of the HVAC system that was upgraded in 2013. The building is not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and its exterior masonry walls are cracked and uninsulated.
Even though the roof was addressed to some extent, water is making its way into the building in several areas. In the 1953 section, the water issues are evident along the metal trusses where the old glass block style windows meet. Buckets have to be put out when it rains.
If the School Committee accepts the invitation into the eligibility period it will have 270 days to work with the MSBA to determine the city's financial and community readiness to move on to design and funding. That will include convening a new School Building Committee.
It will, however, have to take into account enrollment for the project to move forward. A recent study of school facilities and population is pointing to a distinctly downward trend in line with the rest of the Berkshires.
After meeting eligibility requirements, the city could be invited into the feasibility study phase, subject to a vote of the MSBA board.
"The eligibility period is a critical step in the MSBA's process of evaluating potential work on the Greylock Elementary School," stated Executive Director Jack McCarthy. "We look forward to our continued partnership with the district as it enters the eligibility period."
Since its 2004 inception, the MSBA says it has made more than 1,750 site visits to more than 250 school districts as part of its due diligence process and has made over $14.1 billion in reimbursements for school construction projects.
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Edward Jones Ranks Highest in Investor Satisfaction, According to J.D. Power
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full-service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study(SM), the firm announced.
The study measures overall investor satisfaction with 24 full-service investment firms based on seven factors including product offerings; problem resolution; convenience; digital experience; financial advisors; value; and trust.
According to a press release, The firm scored 770 in overall satisfaction, 38 points over the industry average. A deeper dive indicates that Edward Jones also scored highest in trust; convenience; and problem resolution
"We are incredibly honored to be named by investors as delivering the highest level of satisfaction, especially during a year of challenge and volatility," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve our service experience and deepen relationships as we live our purpose - improving the lives of our clients and colleagues and, together, benefiting our communities and society."
The request was the only substantive issue on the agenda and, although seemingly straightforward, it engendered some discussion on its reasoning and the way it was presented on the agenda.
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