South Egremont School foundation repairs nearing completion

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EGREMONT — Repairs to the 19th-century South Egremont School are expected to wrap up ahead of schedule.

Select Board Chairman Bruce Turner said he anticipates the project, to repair the two-room schoolhouse's foundation, will be completed by the end of July. Original estimates had construction being finalized in mid- to late-August.

Construction completion follows two years of uncertainty about the school's future: Southern Berkshire Regional School District put the school on hiatus in 2016 and the building needed more than $300,000 in repairs.

South Egremont School will begin educating students again in the fall. So far, there are six students enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year in Egremont.

In April, the Select Board chose general contractor Salco Construction Co., of Pittsfield, which bid $358,182 on the job.

"They got going early," Turner said. "We've got a company that expedited down the line and it's moving along pretty well."

The school is on the State Register of Historic Places, so work needed to comply with the state's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. At the time of bidding in December, Egremont had sought proposals to make the building accessible and compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, but the cost was prohibitive.

To pay for the project, in round numbers Egremont used about $200,000 in tax revenue, borrowed $100,000, raised $30,000 in donations and had $30,000 left over from an engineering grant.

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com, @kristinpalpini, 413 629-4621.

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