WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Mount Greylock Regional School District is one step closer to a school building project, bringing it closer than ever to a long-sought goal.
School officials announced Wednesday that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) staff will recommend the district be invited into the "eligibility period" -- the first phase in a potential building project.
"The district has never been invited in, period," School Committee Chairwoman Carrie Greene said. "The door is now open, and the door has never been open before."
The district has submitted six statements of interest (SOI) to the MSBA, the state entity responsible for funding school construction projects. An SOI is the official request to be added to the funding list of school projects statewide. The most recent SOI lists numerous inadequacies with the 1960 Mount Greylock building, including failing heating and ventilation systems and spaces not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Greene said she, Superintendent Rose Ellis and possibly a member of the district's Building Committee will attend the MSBA's board meeting on Oct. 2. The board will vote on whether to invite the district in, based on the SOI and a visit MSBA officials paid to the school in November 2012.
"If there's a vote in the affirmative, we are officially brought into the eligibility period," Greene explained.
The district would then have nine months to receive an affirmative vote from both Lanesborough and Williamstown voters to fund a feasibility study, Greene said.
"It's not official yet, but if all goes well on Oct. 2, we will be partnering with the MSBA," she said.
At Tuesday's school committee meeting, members expressed their frustration over the building's conditions -- the school was closed for two days last week after 90 degree heat and high humidity caused the floors to become dangerously slippery.
Ellis told members that the administration has compiled a handout for the public that outlines challenges with the building. The bound document will be available at post offices, libraries and other public spaces in Lanesborough and Williamstown, she said. The complete SOI is available on the district website at www.mgrhs.org.
Members also agreed Tuesday night to continue studying expanding the district as a way to better their chances at having the building project chosen.
A Regional District Amendment Committee (RDAC) was formed last winter to look into expanding the grades seven-12 district. The region would potentially expand from a grade seven-12 district to a pre-K through grade 12 district that includes Williamstown and Lanesborough elementary schools.
Currently, each school is its own district with its own school committee, but share a superintendent and administrative staff in a tri-district office.
"The [MSBA] favors regionalization," Greene said. "They want to see more efficiencies, they want to see more flexibility."
To reach Edward Damon,