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'Venting Issues' Force Closure of Mount Greylock Regional School

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
Updated 09:17AMPrint Story | Email Story
UPDATE ON FRIDAY MORNING: Superintendent Kimberley Grady confirmed on Friday morning that the boys basketball game on Friday night and the girls basketball games on Saturday will be held as scheduled.
 
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Student Council representative Jacqueline Wells injected a little levity into the start of her presentation at Thursday's Mount Greylock Regional School Committee meeting.
 
"I guess spring break starts now," she joked during her monthly presentation to the committee.
 
But it was a cruel joke on the middle-high school community when it was thrown a curve ball with Thursday's announcement that school would be out of session Friday for an "inspection of the roof-top units and ventilation systems."
 
Principal Mary MacDonald announced the closure Thursday in an email to the school community.
 
She wrote that there would be no co-curriculars at the school on Friday, but athletic director Lyndsey von Holtz later clarified that she is hoping to hold Friday night's boys basketball games as scheduled. On Friday morning, the district's superintendent confirmed that, in fact, the basketball games and other events not involving the three-story academic wing would go on as scheduled.
 
The problem appears to be localized to the academic wing built as part of the recent addition/renovation project at the middle-high school. Students and staff have recently complained of a foul odor in the classroom wing.
 
On Friday evening, Mount Greylock Superintendent Kimberley Grady said she is working with her staff, the construction team that built the school, local inspectors and the school counsel "on the roof top units and venting issues."
 
"At this time, we are investigating the smell being reported in the three-story building," Grady said. "Since the smell was present more than once, we are utilizing precautions and closing the building for a comprehensive test of the system. This requires the building to be closed"
 
Mount Greylock was scheduled to hold its annual February weeklong vacation starting at the end of classes on Friday.
 
This is the latest in a line of issues related to the $64 million building project, which have included the delayed start of the school year in 2018 and a protracted wait to get access to the school's auditorium that ended about a year ago.

Tags: MGRSD,   school closures,   

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Historical Echo, Irony in Williams College Cancellations

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — For the second time in school history, the classrooms at Williams College will be very quiet this spring.
 
In 1970, it was a two-week student strike to fight a war.
 
In 2020, it's a three-month closure ordered by the college to fight a global pandemic.
 
Paul Miller has ties to both stoppages and sees a parallel.
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