To the Editor:
I am not alone in being very distressed at the debacle caused by none other than the Egremont Board of Selectmen regarding the South Egremont school building. As a member of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District’s governing board (School Committee) as well as its finance subcommittee, Charles Flynn was party to or should have been participating in the budget deliberations for the coming fiscal year. He chose not to fulfill his sworn duty as one of our town’s representatives to said subcommittee. He even had the unmitigated gall to berate the town’s other School Committee member in a public forum for not keeping the Board of Selectmen apprised of the goings on at their regularly held meetings. When the budget was announced a few weeks ago, the Egremont Board of selectmen cried foul as if surprised by the fact that the retiring kindergarten/first grade teacher is not being replaced.
In what appears to be a weak attempt to save face, the Egremont Board of Selectmen announced plans to spend my tax dollars bringing a lawsuit against the district for violating the terms of the regional agreement. The school district will then have to spend more of the five member towns’ tax dollars to defend the frivolous action.
Meanwhile, there are monies appropriated by the town as well as some grant funds earmarked for needed structural and accessibility improvements to the charming historic building that is held dear in the hearts of many. The construction season is now upon us. There is no contractor lined up to do the work nor has anyone even mentioned the lead paint that is on the inside and outside of the building.
Can the school be saved?
Yes it can. The foundation needs to be repaired or replaced, ADA accessibility standards need to be met and the lead paint has to be remediated. After all of that is satisfactorily completed and if the SBRSD chooses not to continue the educational program there, the building should be rented out to be used as a year round daycare facility and/or nursery school.
Mt. Washington Road