Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Architects schedule Tuesday visit to MGRHS to begin building review

The members of the Building Committee of the Mount Greylock
Regional School District have announced that the design firm of Dore &
Whittier Architects, Inc. will be at the school on Tuesday, November 29,
2005, to initiate their assessment of building conditions, according to
attorney Beth Goodman, a member of the school's building committee.

Dore & Whittier Architects were selected from nine proposers by the School
Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 2005, as the design firm
that will complete a feasibility study, Goodman says. The study will
culminate with options for addressing the educational needs of the
District and will be based on their assessment of the physical condition
of the school and evaluation of space needs. Project managers Lee Dore
and Donald Walter of Dore & Whittier Architects will attend the site
assessment with the various sub-consultants who will be working with them
on the project.

Goodman writes that the Building Committee was formed by the School
District in February 2005, as a result of concerns regarding the existing
facilities. Goodman adds:

"As noted by School Committee member David Langston at a recent Building
Committee meeting, after many years of tight school budgets with minimal
funding for deferred maintenance and capital improvements, the MGRS
building needs work. The known deficiency in the heating and ventilation
systems triggered a review of all of the building systems. The systems
are outdated and inefficient and this is further exacerbated by the rising
energy costs. In addition, performing needed improvements at the school
will trigger issues regarding compliance with modern building code and
Americans with Disabilities Act provisions.

"The Building Committee has heard that certain aspects of the facility are
adversely affecting educational activities at the school. The layout of
the middle school classroom impedes organization of the middle school in
the manner now recommended by educators. The science labs lack modern
safety features, which limit hands-on student work. The undersized gym and
inadequate cafeteria are imposing limits on the ability of the
administration to schedule classes.

"The design firm of Dore & Whittier Architects will consider at least
three options for upgrading the existing facility: (1) A minor renovation
addressing the most critical building and code deficiencies; (2) A major
renovation and possible addition and/or partial demolition addressing all
identified educational, building and code deficiencies; and (3) Replacing
the existing facility with a new school built on the same property.

"The Building Committee will host a series of public meetings to gather
information for use in the feasibility study and to obtain public feedback
on the options to be included in the study. The public's participation is
strongly encouraged to ensure that all pertinent issues are considered in
the feasibility study. The first public meeting will be on Tuesday,
January 10, 2006, and will review current conditions and deficiencies in
the school facilities. There will be a second public meeting on Tuesday
January 24, 2006 to address enrollment projections, educational needs
deficiencies, and to preview various options for the school. The options
will be discussed in more detail at a third public meeting on Wednesday,
February 15, 2005. All three meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the high
school. Additional public meetings and information sessions will be
scheduled as needed. The Building Committee expects to present it's
recommendations to the School Committee during the February and March 2006
budget process on whether or how to perform additional design work.

"The Building Committee has a homepage on the school's website at which includes numerous prior studies on various aspects
of the building and its needs. A complete list of the Building Committee
meetings, which are open to the public, and the public hearings, will be
posted on the Calendar section of the school website. The public may
contact Andy Hogeland, the Building Committee chair, for additional
information, by telephone at his home 458-5966, at work at 448-7706 or by
email to

Elisabeth C. Goodman, Esq.
Law Offices of Robert C. Ware
P.O. Box 603
Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267
(413) 458-2700 (Phone)
(413) 458-2702 (Fax) <>


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