A $64.8 million renovation of Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Mass., has begun.
The Berkshire Eagle reports that the project will result in a 133,000-square-foot building that will be a combination of new construction and the former school's gymnasium and auditorium.
The renovation was approved earlier this year by voters in the towns of Lanesborough and Williamstown. A $33.2 million Massachusetts School Building Authority Grant will help pay for the project. Williamstown residents will pay for about two-thirds of the remaining cost.
Repairing the existing building would have cost nearly as much as the new construction—$58 million.
Mount Greylock Regional School District officials opted for a major renovation because the existing facility was "neither safe nor educationally sound."
The building was constructed in the early 1960s, when energy efficiency and accessibility were not priorities and when the student population was twice what it is now, the district's web site says. The facility has not aged well.
"Failings in the heating and ventilation systems produce levels of CO2, humidity, and noise well above what’s recommended for learning environments," the district says. "...The district has to spend significant portions of its annual budget on maintenance and repairs of outdated systems. Security is compromised by the building’s sprawling layout and its 72 doors to the outside."
The renovation is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018.