WILLIAMSTOWN -- Mount Greylock Regional High School will resume classes this morning after being closed for two days because the unusually humid mid-September weather made the aging building's floors dangerously slick.
School administrators announced late Thursday afternoon the hallway and classroom floors are no longer a hazard to the school's 700 students, faculty and staff.
"Our hallway and classroom floors are dry, and with the turn in the weather, we should be OK," said Mount Greylock Principal Mary MacDonald.
Today's forecast for cooler, drier weather is a far cry from the sudden return of oppressive humidity this week that resulted in slippery floors at the Williamstown campus.
School officials cut classes short on Wednesday, and Mount Greylock remained closed on Thursday as a safety precaution as the 90-degree heat coupled with heavy rain and humidity created hazardous footing inside the 52-year-old building.
"We would have to put hockey helmets on everyone in case they slipped and fell," MacDonald said.
The principal said the custodial staff used fans and dehumidifiers -- some borrowed from Williams College -- to help dry out the school, which has no central air conditioning.
Mount Greylock was one of two Western Massachusetts school districts that were shut down on Thursday due to weather-related building issues.
The Associated Press reported that officials in the Amherst Regional School District canceled classes throughout the four-town school system as the humidity melted the new wax applied to school floors this summer. The slippery conditions resulted in 22 people falling on the slick floor, but no serious injuries were reported.
The floor problem is the latest addition to a growing list of building deficiencies in recent years that has prompted the school district to seek state funding toward a renovated or new high school.
According to district officials, Mount Greylock, erected in 1960 and added to in 1968, currently has inadequate science labs, heating and ventilation systems; mold and ice issues; and is non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The district plans to keep lobbying the Massachusetts School Building Authority for money toward a school building project.
"We're hoping with this latest situation we've got the SBA's ear," said Rose Ellis, superintendent of the Mount Greylock Regional School District.
The SBA board has twice rejected the district's request to be added to the funding list of school building project statewide. School officials, along with many parents, hope the board has a change of heart when it votes again later this fall on financial support for a modern Mount Greylock.
"We really need a new building," said Wendy Penner, whose younger daughter attends Mount Greylock. "We really hope to create a sense of urgency on the state level."
Meanwhile, thunderstorms that rolled through Northern Berkshire late Thursday afternoon prompted Mount Greylock Athletic Director Lindsey von Holtz to postpone two sporting events scheduled to take place, despite the school closure.
The Mounties varsity football game against Monument Mountain Regional High School has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Monday.
A make-up date has yet to be announced for the girls soccer match with Pittsfield High School.