To the editor of THE EAGLE:
On Nov. 5, the communities of Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge will have the opportunity to vote regarding the proposal to renovate Monument Mountain Regional High School. I am writing in support of this project.
Renovating Monument Mountain makes educational sense. Studies show a correlation between student performance and the physical environment in which they work. The new design will provide for more natural lighting throughout the building; technology will be integrated throughout the school in a comprehensive manner; our nearly 50 year-old classroom laboratories will be replaced with a new science and technology wing that will provide students with the latest resources.
Renovating Monument Mountain makes accessibility and safety sense. The construction will bring Monument Mountain Regional High School up to code. Once complete, Monument Mountain will be compliant with the American Disabilities Act; Monument Mountain will finally have a fire suppression system; Monument Mountain will have a designated entrance through which all visitors enter the building.
Finally, the renovation makes economic sense. According to those most familiar with the physical plant, it will cost approximately $9 million more over the next 10 years to reject the renovation plan and simply repair systems as they break down. Monument Mountain needs a new roof; Monument Mountain needs a new boiler system; Monument Mountain needs an upgraded plumbing system. By taking advantage of historically low interest rates and the state’s reimbursement of nearly 50 percent for the renovation project, it will actually cost less to renovate the building, including building the science and technology wing, than it would be to simply make the repairs piecemeal.
Now is the time for Monument Mountain. Please vote YES for Monument on Nov. 5. For more information about the renovation project, visit www.monumentnow.org
The writer is a Spanish teacher at Monument Mountain Regional High School.