Update on the Building Project (Part 2)

Value Engineering

As October draws to a close, the new school building project at Mt. Greylock is moving steadily along. The most notable ongoing process in the project is value engineering, used in many construction projects to keep the job under budget and on schedule. Principal Mary MacDonald says the project is currently on budget and time. “Value engineering,” adds MacDonald, “is just a precaution because things change as the project develops.”

Macdonald gave a specific example of one effect of value engineering at work: “We have just approved new light fixtures which are cheaper than the ones that were in the plan.” The new light fixtures are LED and dim and brighten automatically according to the amount of natural light in the room. “These new fixtures are more energy efficient because of the type of bulb and the fact that they accommodate natural light, which saves the school money.”

Discretionary Grant

The school building project committee is also at work to finalize the discretionary grant that Williams College donated to the project. The College is currently treating the fund like an endowment, where Mt. Greylock will only spend the interest from the five million dollar grant on the building project. However, in the acceptance papers, Williams states that Mt. Greylock may dip into the five million dollar grant once they have spent all the interest. Some of the possible projects in contention for the money are new athletic field accessibility measures, district office relocation during construction, an update to the auditorium sound and lighting equipment, renovations to the parking lot, an outside amphitheater, solar panels, and field house/athletic storage. However, stipulated MacDonald, “This doesn’t mean that these things are where it will all go. This is more of a wish list.”

Building Project Photographic Timeline

Throughout the summer and into the school year at Mt. Greylock, construction crews have been demolishing the school site to make room for a new building. Technology and Audio Visual Director Rob Wnuk as well as Building Project Director Jesse Wirtes were both at the school during the construction and decided to document the series of changes with their cameras. The final product of their efforts have been compiled by Wnuk into a website where anyone can see the demolition process and the construction site. The photos on the website provide a glimpse behind the green screen and chain link fence of the construction which most never get to see. One of the most shocking pictures is one of the inside of the auditorium. The stage is nothing more than a concrete slab, and inside where the seating used to be is a dirt floor. It is startling to see a room in which many a play and parent athlete meeting was attended reduced to nothing but a bare room with the only remaining vestige of the past being the old brown paint on one wall. “We have documented every step of the way,” said Wnuk of the website. Added Wnuk, “We have even more pictures to come that Mr. Wirtes is putting together.”  

The adress for the website is: mgrhs.org/buildingproject

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