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Mount Greylock Committee Trying Again for School Project
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
11:11PM / Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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Mount Greylock Regional School District approved its latest statement of interest to submit to the state School Building Authority in hopes funding to renovate the 50-year-old school.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee once again is asking the commonwealth to help the district either improve or replace its 1960s school building.

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday evening, the committee approved a final draft of its application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

The district was disappointed last fall when the latest in a series of applications, called Statements of Interest, failed to win the district a spot in the MSBA's funding program. But school officials were encouraged by a subsequent site visit by MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy.

McCarthy left local officials with the impression that their previous SOI did not have the political support of the two towns served by the district, Williamstown and Lanesborough. Prior to drafting its current SOI, the committee secured letters of support from the select boards in each town.

The School Building Committee has been offering tours of the building so citizens can see the conditions. The next tours are Sunday, March 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. and Tuesday, March 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Contact for more information.

In other business on Tuesday night, the junior-senior high school committee took its first look at its proposed fiscal 2014 budget. Among the highlights: the district will benefit from level funding of its health insurance plan from FY 2013 and a significant ($170,000) decrease in its anticipated cost for charter school and school choice tuition payments.

The overall budget still is expected to rise by about 3.8 percent, or $399,000, from FY13, district business director David Donoghue said. Right now, he is projecting a slight increase in the assessment to Lanesborough and a slight decrease in the assessment to Williamstown.

The towns pay different assessments based on the number of students from each town attending the junior-senior high school.

It uses a rolling five-year average of enrollment figures from each town in order to smooth out any serious fluctuation from year-to-year, longtime committee member Robert Ericson explained.

The committee plans a public hearing on the budget on Monday, March 18, at the Lanesborough Elementary School and plans to meet with the Williamstown Finance Committee on Thursday, March 21.

The full budget is being readied for town meeting in May.

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