Mount Greylock School Committee agrees to move forward on seeking bids for artificial turf field | Local News

WILLIAMSTOWN – A split regional school committee in Mount Greylock on Tuesday voted to take the next step in finding new offers to build a multi-purpose artificial turf pitch.

In a 4-3 vote, the committee agreed to pay advisor Perkins Eastman to begin assessing the project and soliciting bids from contractors.

Four members of the committee initially considered the idea premature, citing unanswered questions, the cost of the project, the need to consider the impact of the coronavirus on the educational process, and environmental concerns.

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“To me, one of the most important work we have to do now in relation to the pandemic is becoming more and more evident,” said committee member Julia Bowen.

Some said they would be more comfortable if the first step is to come up with a long-term investment plan that takes into account future needs, including the playing field, and identifies sources of funding.

The district has been considering installing an artificial turf field for more than four years. The idea is to pay for the work with a $ 5 million gift from Williams College to meet needs the state did not pay for when the school construction project began.

With about $ 3.6 million remaining, committee members said they would prefer at least $ 1 million to remain in the fund after fieldwork is covered.

Of great importance was the need to renovate the existing fields, install a track and set up an irrigation system to protect the field in summer.

The district also has deadlines to ensure compliance with the Disabled Americans Act, to allow people with disabilities free access to the playing fields, and to comply with Title IX by installing a softball field.

Perkins Eastman named $ 44,000 for running the tender process and evaluating the project parts.

After about two hours of in-depth discussion, Curtis Elfenbein requested that Perkins Eastman run the tender for a project that included a synthetic field, a grass softball field, paths for ADA access and a lane around one of the existing fields.

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School committee members Bowen, Ivory, Carrie Greene and Steven Miller voted yes. Against committee chairs Christina Conry, Jose Constantine and Michelle Johnson were.

The hope is that the tender can be carried out by spring, the work will be completed in the summer and the fields will be ready for the start of the next school year.

Greene noted that if the bids are too high, you don’t have to accept any of them and can start working on a new plan.

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