Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Fwd: To the Editor re: Mount Greylock Building Permits

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Begin forwarded message:

From: "Peter Fohlin" <>
Date: June 2, 2010 12:56:21 PM EDT
To: "Bill Densmore" <>, "Patrick Dunlavey" <>, "" <>
Cc: "Charlie Fox (" <>, "Dan Gendron (" <>, "Doris Karampatsos" <>, "Jefferson Strait (" <>, "K Elaine Neely" <>, "Paula Consolini (" <>, "Suzanne Dewey (" <>, "Suzanne Stinson (" <>, <>
Subject: To the Editor re: Mount Greylock Building Permits
Reply-To: "Peter Fohlin" <>


I was very disappointed to read the reporting in Wednesday's Transcript concerning the building permits for Mount Greylock Regional High School. I have not yet viewed the videotape, so I do not know if the shortcomings are in what was said at the school committee meeting or in the reporting of it.


The content of the story was summarized in the headline – "Mount Greylock locker room repairs on hold." Never mentioned is the fact that both Phase II of the boiler replacement and the locker room repairs were given a green light in the meeting Tuesday afternoon in my office with Bob Ericson, Building Commissioner Michael Card, and Building Inspector Ryan Contenta. Bob Ericson explained that the boiler project would soon stall without additional permissions, which were granted. Tuesday's handshake was confirmed in writing Wednesday morning. Bob further explained that there is much demolition necessary in the locker rooms before reconstruction can begin, and permission was granted. As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, well before the school committee meeting, there was no reason for the boiler and locker room projects to proceed at anything less than full speed ahead.


There remain complicated life safety and handicap accessibility issues that Bob, Mike, and Ryan agreed to set aside for the moment and work to resolve while Phase II boiler replacement and locker room demolition move forward. Those issues were acknowledged in Hesnor Engineering's report to the school committee on November 9, 2009: "It is understood that prior to proceeding with work associated with Phase II of the Heating Plant and Locker Room repairs, a full Chapter 34 evaluation shall be prepared by Hesnor Engineering Company and Barry Architects, respectively." Seven months later we await completion of that evaluation. Bob Ericson in good faith disputes the authority of DIS to require the evaluation, but has agreed to provide basic information by the end of this week. Inspection Services maintains both its right and its responsibility to require the life safety and accessibility evaluation under the Massachusetts State Building Code, but has agreed to allow work to proceed while we work to resolve. The basic information being requested will allow responsible, cost effective, and timely decisions to be made in the best interests of the building occupants and the taxpayers. If we are unable to resolve those decisions while work continues, we will agree to disagree and travel together to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards for a determination.


The Secretary of State's office has determined that most e-mails to and from municipal offices and officials are public records.  Consequently, confidentiality should not be expected.


Town of Williamstown

Peter L. Fohlin

Town Manager

31 North Street

Williamstown MA 01267

v (413) 458-3500

f (413) 458-4839


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