STOCKBRIDGE -- Monument Mountain Regional High School's multi-million dollar renovation received the Select Board's endorsement this week, which means that all three towns in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District have now endorsed the project.
The Stockbridge Board of Selectmen unanimously expressed its support for the project on Monday, stating the town has an obligation to its next generation of residents.
"I have this outlook as many people do that it's every generation's responsibility to step up to the plate for education and new buildings," Select Board Chair Stephen Shatz said.
The 20-year bond would increase taxes between $39 and $43 per $100,000 of valuation. The owner of a home valued at the median price of $499,371 would pay an additional $197 to $213.
West Stockbridge and Great Barrington, the district's two other towns, endorsed the $56 million high school renovation project earlier this month. The state has offered to reimburse the district for 48.5 percent of the project's total cost of $25 million.
The renovations are necessary, school officials say, because the high school is nearly 50 years old and this would be the most cost-effective way to add 21st century learning amenities while bringing the building up to state and federal building codes.
"We would really be throwing away state money by deferring this project," said Selectman Charles Gillet.
The schoolwide renovations include bringing plumbing, electrical wiring, and handicap access up to code. There also would be a new science laboratory, additional classroom space and a greenhouse.
Forgoing the renovations and performing piecemeal repairs would cost $40.2 million without the additional amenities, school officials say.
Residents will vote on Election Day on Nov. 5.
Now that the project has been approved by each town's Select Board, it will now be considered by the finance committees in the three communities.
Stockbridge's committee will take up the plan on Monday while Great Barrington's will hear the presentation on Oct. 29. West Stockbridge's committee endorsed the project in late September.
To reach John Sakata:
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