Our Opinion: Greylock opens doors on school, to future
About a week after the new Taconic High School opened its doors in Pittsfield, the new Mount Greylock Regional School welcomed students from Lanesborough and Williamstown. Both schools should long pay dividends to students, families and their communities.
Again like Taconic, the Greylock facility introduces new features, such as flexible learning spaces, replacing outdated infrastructure representing teaching approaches from half a century or more ago (Eagle, Sept. 11.) The classroom wing is now three stories, and includes alternative learning alcoves where students can collaborate on projects, and outdoor learning areas for courses in art and biology.
The Mount Greylock project cost $64 million, compared to $120 million for the larger Taconic, which can hold 925 students, slightly less than twice the maximum number for Mount Greylock. The Massachusetts School Building Authority contributed $33.2 million in state funds to the Williamstown school. The local share will be between $31.5 and $35.3 million, with Williamstown taxpayers responsible for 67.7 percent of that cost.
Berkshire towns are addressing, or should be addressing, the reality that school buildings of a certain era that weren't built to last are inadequate for contemporary needs. The Central Berkshire Regional School District is confronting what is to be done about Wahconah Regional High School, which opened in 1961, a year after the old Mount Greylock opened its doors.
Last month, the Wahconah School Building Committee and the CBRSD School Committee endorsed plans for a new school to be built, like Greylock, on its existing site. The process has a long way to go through seven member towns, but the Taconic and Greylock projects have proven that with state assistance it can be done. And should be done, as towns seek to better serve students while providing an incentive for families to stay in or move into the host communities.
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