I write with great trepidation about the future of Lanesborough and Williamstown and the bombardment of one-sided information we have been subjected to over the last few years regarding the "horrible condition" of Mount Greylock Regional High School. While I do agree that the school is in need of some work, I think shutting it down for a day last year because of high humidity in the building was a bit over the top and just another example of the one-sided tale we are always being told.
In the Jan. 23 Eagle there is was an article about the stage curtain and how a new one will cost approximately $68,000. The article talks about the possibility of a loan, reducing payments on the boiler room project or using money form the school tuition fund. The tuition fund is also known as the school choice fund or as I like to say the school's private piggy bank. These monies from school choice go into the school budget and are able to be used at the school's discretion and not subject to the voice or control of the taxpayers of Lanesborough or Williamstown.
Also in the Jan. 23 edition is a very interesting article about the Monument Mountain high school renovation project that was voted down in November. Great Barrington is hosting a series of community forums aimed at understanding why the residents voted the project down. Some residents said "the scope of the project seems way too much" and another said "enough is enough." That is exactly how I feel.
How does the school administration think that in these economic times and after just having built two beautiful new schools not too long ago in each community we can possibly afford such a project? Add that to the information I have been gathering about past, current and future enrollments at the three schools and the demographics concerning our current and future population trends and one would clearly see that a new school is out of the question. Decreasing student enrollment and an aging population have been the trend and is predicted to
Provide us the factual information, leave emotions out of it and once we get the true data we can decide what's right for both towns and our students. In the meantime why not open up the piggy bank and purchase the new curtain?
The mission statement of the school "is to prepare all students to achieve their full potential as learners in an ever-changing world." Well, with the way the world and especially the economy has changed we must all adapt and sometimes we must all do with a little less.
RAY JONES JR.