Letter: Investment in youth and in Lanesborough

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Investment in youth, and in Lanesborough

To the editor:

The current Mt Greylock building is oversized and leaks heat like a sieve. It has mold problems, 72 doors to the outside, no sprinkler system, and an antique fire alarm system that survives on parts from junkyards

The auditorium is unusable. When the next major system fails, repairs could trigger ADA compliance and a bill in the millions. A full repair would cost $58 million, but it would leave the building just as oversized and expensive to operate. The state will not help with repairs. We'd have to pay it all.

The project proposed by the School Building Committee is a cost-effective and responsible one. The design chosen shrinks the square footage of the building by 44,000 square feet and because of its extreme energy efficiency, will save tens of thousands of dollars annually in operating costs. It is designed to educate 535 students, an enrollment figure arrived at by extensive research.

My colleagues and I on the building committee have worked with the Massachusetts School Building Authority and architects for almost two years, studying plans, commissioning testing and surveys, and looking for efficiencies everywhere. We've recruited task groups from local people with specialized knowledge in construction and related fields. Our meetings have been open to the public.

Our members, all volunteers, have made ourselves available at numerous community forums. Among us are engineers, an architect, and one member each from the Finance Committees of the towns. Through diligence and community input, the committee has lowered the maximum district cost by more than $7 million. We will not stop there.

Mt. Greylock's building is worn out, and it now falls to us to deal with it. We can either take advantage of this opportunity to both address the building's problems and save money in the long run or stall and drag our community down. There's no better deal out there. This project is a sound investment for all of us, not just for those with children, but for Lanesborough's long-term economic health.

Please vote "yes" on Tuesday to move this project forward.

Christine Galib, Lanesborough, The writer is a member of the Mt. Greylock School Building Committee and of the Lanesborough Finance Committee.


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