To the editor:
On Saturday, April 8, the voters of the Central Berkshire Regional School District will vote on what I believe will foretell the future of the district's longstanding commitment to high educational values.
The question is whether to fund a feasibility study for the needed improvements to Wahconah Regional High School. This study will provide the district with the data needed to determine the best approach for the future of the school regarding both educational issues and building concerns — be it a new building or a total upgrade of the existing facility.
If the district is to access any state assistance for such capital costs it must first go through the feasibility study phase. The commonwealth, through the School Building Authority (SBA), will fund approximately 50 percent of the cost of this study. It is important to note that that reimbursement is NOT contingent on the district's decision to move forward at the conclusion of the study. If the district does move forward the SBA has committed to the same rate of reimbursement for a new building or an upgrade.
Anyone who has visited Wahconah or has attended one of the informational meetings knows that something must be done. The building is quickly approaching its 60th anniversary and is simply worn out. As an aside, Wahconah is now older than the "newest" part of the old Nessacus Middle School was when it was replaced by the present-day Nessacus.
The ballot question reads, in part, "$850,000 to pay the cost of performing a study." As stated above, approximately half of that will be reimbursed through the SBA. However, I believe that the real question to the voter is: Knowing that Wahconah is in need of major capital improvements that will cost millions of dollars, do you want to fund the feasibility study now so that the district can have access to the SBA funds for those costs, or would you rather pay for those undeniably needed expenses totally on your own?
I think there is a clear answer. The math is simple. Please vote on Saturday.
The writer is a member of the Wahconah Building Project Committee.