To the editor of THE EAGLE:
On Nov. 5, voters in Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge will have an opportunity to vote on two questions connected to the Monument Mountain Regional High School renovation and addition. As a parent of three children and the superintendent of the district, I will be voting yes on both ballot questions.
I urge voters to consider the facts, build an opinion and do the same. Take a look at plans for improved energy efficiency, safety and accessibility. Understand the potential impact of six new science labs, improved vocational spaces, a new and relocated greenhouse, updated library, cafeteria, classrooms and technology. www.Monumentnow.org has extensive background information and additional meeting dates.
I will be voting yes for three simple reasons.
1. The building is old and needs to be updated. While Monument students and educators have been highly successful, improved facilities would better support learning.
2. The time is now -- interest and construction rates are at all-time lows. The state is offering us $25 million. That offer is contingent upon a majority vote before Dec. 31. If the vote doesn't pass, some other project will be funded and getting back on the list may take several years or more.
3. It makes financial sense. If the project doesn't go forward, we will still need to address building issues. Taking a piecemeal approach will take longer, cost more, get us less and negatively impact student learning.
Our three towns have demonstrated their commitment to supporting student growth and success. Monument has served our communities well for almost 50 years. Let's vote yes in supporting Monument in meeting the needs of students for 50 more years.
The writer is the superintendent of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.