Friday, March 31, 2006

Mt. Greylock Building Study - public forum April 5


Submitted by Nancy Nylen
(nnylen@williams.edu)

Mt. Greylock High School Public Forum on Building Study

The Mt. Greylock Regional School Building Committee will be holding a
public forum at 7:00 pm on Wednesday April 5 in the high school
library on the estimated costs of various options for addressing the
needs of the school building. The forum is the latest in a series of
meetings on the progress of a feasibility study to analyze the
building conditions, including space and educational needs. The
feasibility study work has identified numerous issues with the
building, and has recommended the replacement of all or most of the
heating, ventilation, air handling and plumbing systems in the
building. The study also includes findings that the building needs
electrical upgrades, and improvements to handicap access.

The preliminary findings of the feasibility study were echoed by a
recent report by an independent association as part of a periodic
accreditation process. The report by the New England Association of
Schools and Colleges (NEASC) praised the school for the quality of
the teachers, curriculum and community partnerships, but concluded
that the aging school site and plant "do not adequately support all
aspects of the educational program and support services for student
learning." The NEASC report states that the building has areas that
are not handicapped-accessible and does not comply with all fire,
health and safety regulations. Previous meetings of the Building
Committee have addressed these issues as well as an array of options
for renovation or for construction of a new building. The April 5th
meeting will include a presentation by the architectural firm of Dore
& Whittier on the estimated costs of the conceptual options developed
so far.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority has a moratorium for
funding of school buildings, and will not even accept applications
until July 2007. The Building Committee expects to finish the
feasibility study later this Spring but, since the state authority
has not yet issued its regulations on a new funding system, the
committee does not expect to make any recommendations on a particular
proposal until the new funding regulations are finalized. State law
requires the regulations to be finalized this summer, but no draft
regulations have been released yet.

The Building Committee has a homepage on the school's website at
www.mgrhs.org . which includes numerous prior studies on various
aspects of the building and its needs. The Building Committee
meetings, which are open to the public, are posted on the Calendar
section of the school website. The public may contact Andy Hogeland,
chairperson of the Building Committee, for additional information, by
phone at home 458-5966 or by email to hogeland@adelphia.net.

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