To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The Monument Mountain Regional High School renovation will address aged infrastructure, lack of energy efficiency, and the changing ways we use our buildings now. While the need to replace worn-out equipment and bring the building into compliance with current building codes would be sufficient for the renovation, the space limitations and disconnect with educational needs have become more and more apparent.
The administration has undertaken a rigorous review of educational priorities. Areas that worked well were supported while others were shifted to better serve the needs of students and the community. Vocational programs lead to careers appropriate to Berkshire County. Academic programs provide opportunities for the wide range of students who make up our community. The net effect is using our resources more wisely toward programs and pathways with positive outcomes throughout.
The renovation will touch every part of the building from replacing boilers to adding sprinklers. We will keep the parts that work well, our auditorium and gymnasium, enhance and refurbish existing classrooms, and support the areas in need of better facilities. The library will move from a windowless room with poor air circulation to a new central location. Art and music, an important and celebrated part of Monument, will have expanded areas. The majority of the science classrooms will be in a new addition.
Forty-five years ago the designers could not have foreseen the needs of a 21st century education. The building plans are a direct result of how we conduct education now but are flexible for future needs.
We have conducted thorough enrollment projections to ensure that the facility is the right size. We have worked with the state standards when they made sense and challenged them when they didn’t, negotiating compromises that work for Monument by using building resources wisely. The new Monument will incorporate the best of the state requirements but adapted for the unique character of MMRHS. FRED CLARK
The writer is a member of the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee.