Mount Greylock teachers, administrators prepare to move out of way of construction

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WILLIAMSTOWN >> Administrators and some teachers are packing their things in preparation for the start of construction in what is now the main entryway and district offices of Mount Greylock High School.

Work is set to begin in early July, after the school year is over and fewer people are around, according to Doug Dias, district superintendent.

"The idea is to do the most disruptive stuff while the fewest people are here," Dias said.

These are the first steps in the $64.8 million renovation and construction of the new high school.

The district administration offices and a couple of classrooms will be relocated to the older, back section of the school, away from the active construction zone. The entryway to the school will move to the doorway just south of the current entry area, right next to the public meeting room.

"We'll have to step into the past before we can take a step into the future," Dias noted.

On Thursday, bids were opened for work to relocate mechanicals, plumbing and wiring to continue to serve the gym and the back section of the school during construction. That work starts in early July.

Once that is complete, abatement and demolition will begin in what is now the main entryway and hallway outside the auditorium. The space adjacent to the auditorium will be expanded and converted into the new cafeteria and kitchen space. Further down the hallway will be new offices for the school's administration and counselors.

From the southern-most wall of that space, the three-story classroom wing will be built.

Meanwhile, a new road for the flow of buses will be built starting in August, as the old route will be overtaken by construction during the project.

According to the new construction schedule, abatement and demolition of that front section begins in the second week of July and will continue into January. Construction of the new public space begins in November and will continue for a year. Construction of the classroom wing begins in February 2017.

A complete renovation of the gymnasium and locker rooms begins in April 2017 and is set for completion in October 2017.

Construction of the new kitchen will occur between July 2017 and April 2018.

The new spaces will be occupied in April 2018.

Once everyone has moved into the new spaces, the back section of the school will undergo abatement and demolition starting in April 2018, with demolition, grading and landscaping likely to be done by the end of October 2018.

The entire project is expected to be done by January 2019.

The existing building on Cold Spring Road was built in 1960, with an addition in 1972, when it served 1,200 junior and senior high students in 177,000 square feet of space.

Now, it houses roughly 590 students in Grades 7 through 12.

Officials expect that the new 133,000-square-foot building will save about 50 percent of the cost of the school's energy needs.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority has agreed to contribute $33.2 million of the $64.8 million school building project. The local share of the cost will be between $31.5 million and $35.3 million.

The debt will be incurred by issuing bonds.


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