WILLIAMSTOWN -- School district officials will try again to get the state's help in building a new school or renovating the existing campus of Mount Greylock Regional High and Middle School.
The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee unanimously voted to approve the district's 2013 statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) at Tuesday night's meeting, the first step in being considered for the MSBA school building program.
The district's most recent statement was submitted in December, 2011, but was not accepted.
"We feel that we have something that really sits well," School Building Subcommittee Co-chair and School Committee member David Backus said about the most recent document.
The document identifies various inadequacies at the school, including a failing HVAC unit and a sprawling, single-floor campus that no longer suits the district's needs. In addition, the statement contains letters from the Lanesborough and Williamstown selectmen, in which they express their support for a feasibility study.
School Committee Chair Carrie Greene said the district could know whether it's been accepted into the program as early as June or as late as November. If the district is accepted into the program, it would enter an eligibility phase lasting up to nine months, culminating in a vote from both towns to approve the funding of a feasibility study. A feasability study would determine whether the district should build a new school or renovate the existing building.
Backus encouraged residents of both towns to visit the building during one of the building subcommittee's scheduled tours. The next two building tours will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
"We're just showing the current state of the facility to show those who would like to know what's going on with the building," he said.
In other business, the committee reviewed the preliminary Mount Greylock Regional High School budget for fiscal year 2014.
During an overview to the committee, Business Director David Donoghue stressed that changes could be made before it is voted on at the next meeting in March.
The projected $10.66 million budget is up $399,000, or 3.8 percent, from fiscal year 2013.
Revenues from the state are projected to increase this year, Donoghue said, with Chapter 70 transportation money being up, while the district's transportation and tuition expenses are projected to be lower.
"So we're up about $14,000 in state aid," he said.
Health Insurance is level funded for this year, Donoghue said. Berkshire Health Group, he said, has a considerable surplus and voted to give back to participants through level funding of rates.
Superintendent Rose Ellis said this was unprecedented.
"It wasn't too long ago that we had double-digit increases," she said. "It is absolutely startling and very helpful to our budget."
Donoghue stressed the state's budget won't be finalized until late spring, meaning the amount of state aid the district receives could change.
"These are projections and these are the best estimates we have to work with for this time," he said.
To reach Edward Damon, email