When we last checked in about the new school building, the opening of the gym had been delayed from the initial November estimate. When I talked to Principal Mary MacDonald on Friday, December 15, she confirmed that it will be opening on January 2. Currently, the gym teachers are undergoing training to learn how to operate appliances like the sound system and the bleachers. The locker rooms, on the other hand, will not be opening until likely the end of January. MacDonald explained that it “is mostly a manpower issue,” because the school bids out jobs, and, as Mt. Greylock is in a relatively isolated place, contractors are working on multiple jobs at a time. Simultaneously, specific issues that any project encounters slightly slow down the process. Namely, the red paint is not taking to the wall in the boys’ locker room, causing project managers to have to readjust plans.
Another process that MacDonald is currently working on is finalizing the purchasing of the furniture. For the student desks, which will be double tables, student chairs, and lab tables, the decision process is complete. The stools for the lab tables are almost all set, as the type of stool has already been chosen. The choice to be made regarding the stools is one that is faced on multiple fronts: should the cheaper option or the one that is likely to last longer be purchased? Overall, MacDonald said that the furniture being purchased could last for up to thirty years. In the cafeteria, the unique challenge has arisen of selecting furniture to fit the same number of students in a significantly smaller space. With the incorporation of round tables, MacDonald predicts that we will be able to continue with the current schedule of having two lunch periods once we fully transition to the new building.
As is with the entire project, the end user has been working closely with the decision process for furnishings. Librarians are a part of selecting the furniture for the library in the same way that gym teachers were involved with many of the decisions about the gym. From the beginning, MacDonald has made every effort to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard. As of right now, MacDonald is working under the assumption that we will be able to move into the rest of the building in April. In about a month, we will have a more accurate estimate.