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Berkshire Voters Reject High School Renovation Once Again

Facebook: Monument Matters

For the second straight year, voters in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District have rejected a high school renovation project. Residents of Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge wereasked to approve a $51 million renovation of the nearly 50-year-old Monument Mountain Regional High School.The ballot items drove roughly 60 percent of the area’s voters to the polls.

For the project to move forward, each town had to independently approve excluding the cost from the levy limit under Proposition 2 1/2. With 2,800 ballots cast, that measure failed by more than 600 votes in Great Barrington, where most of the tax impact would be felt. Resident Patrick Fennell voted no.

“Nobody is against renovating and nobody is against education, we don’t like to be pinned that way,” Fennell said. “But the truth of the matter is there’s a better way to do and they’re not doing it.”

Great Barrington taxpayers faced an additional $92 per $100,000 of assessed property value in taxes. The 2013 renovation proposal totaled $56 million.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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