WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Mount Greylock Regional School District is inching closer to replacing its 54-year-old building on Cold Spring Road.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority board of directors voted on Wednesday to welcome the district into a feasibility study phase.
"We’re extremely pleased," School Committee Chairwoman Carrie Greene said upon hearing Wednesday’s decision. "We look forward in moving ahead in the process. It’s a little more than a formality, because it’s an extremely important step to invite a school into the MSBA capital pipeline."
The study, which school officials estimate would take 12 to 18 months to complete, will determine the type and cost of a building project. Member towns Lanesborough and Williamstown have already committed $850,000 to the study, with the MSBA expected to reimburse 53 percent of the cost.
"This feasibility study will carefully examine all potential solutions to help us develop the most effective plan," MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy said in a written announcement about the vote. "We look forward to partnering with the district to move this potential project forward."
The MSBA partners with communities to support the design and construction of public schools. Since its 2004 inception, the MSBA says it has approved more than $10.7 billion in reimbursement funds for capital improvement projects.
School Building Committee Co-Chairman Mark Schiek said the district is still in the early stages of the process.
"The first step is getting
an owner project manager (OPM) in place, so they can offer their expertise to help us and guide us forward," he said.
A search committee has been formed to select an OPM, he said, which would issue a request for services this summer. The School Building Committee will ultimately choose an OPM.
"I would think we will see an OPM decision in November or December," Schiek said.
School officials hope to hire an architect by early 2015. The study would take place from the winter of 2015 to the summer of 2016, followed by a proposal soon after.
Residents would be able to consider any renovation or new building options recommended by the study.
Mount Greylock Regional High School serves roughly 580 students from grades 7 through 12. The regional school district serves the member towns of Lanesborough and Williamstown, along with tuition students from neighboring Hancock and New Ashford, and school choice students from several other communities.
Building inadequacies of concern to school officials include energy inefficiencies, non-ADA compliant spaces, mold and a sprawling 183,000 square-foot campus designed in the 1960s to serve a population twice the size of its current enrollment.