Why Now?

The current MMRHS building, more than 50 years old, is inadequate compared to other schools in the state.

A building project would allow for the following to be addressed comprehensively and completely:

  • Physical needsThe building’s life has been well-extended thanks to the efforts of our custodial and building staff, but it needs many things—a new roof and mechanical systems, improved security, removal of toxic materials, compliance with ADA standards, state building code, and state fire code. Ultimately, the facility’s wholesale needs are larger than ordinary repairs lend themselves to.
  • Educational needsThe educational model of the District has seen significant changes in the last decade. While we are still realizing the strong need for a vibrant college prep curriculum, the District has made a concerted effort to emphasize the need for a thriving Career Vocational and Technical Education program. Teachers have developed workarounds whenever possible (for example, holding physics class in the hallway), but the current building can’t overcome some limitations.  Some educational updates needed include enlarging and upgrading CVTE spaces, modernizing science labs, and expanding classroom sizes.
  • Community needsMonument serves more than just students; it’s an important place for the community as a whole. An improved facility could enhance the learning environment and offer opportunities for evening learning programs and events. It could establish career pathways that can lead graduates to stay or return to our community, enhancing its vitality and growth. 

Like most of its contemporaries built in the 1960s and early 1970s, the building has come to the end of its physical life cycle, requiring significant overhaul or replacement to adequately and safely serve its students, staff, and community. This should not come as a surprise, as we have seen this happen right here in Berkshire County. Over the last decade, other Berkshire County high schools built in the same era, including Taconic, Wahconah, and Mt. Greylock, have been completely rebuilt or significantly renovated.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a quasi-state agency, has offered to cover a significant portion of the renovation.

Every year, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) accepts a few school districts into the program that subsidizes the cost of renovating or building a new school. The last time the BHRSD was accepted into the MSBA’s core project program was more than ten years ago when the town of Great Barrington voted against the project. After multiple attempts to reapply, the District has been selected to participate again, a rare and valuable opportunity.

In the fall of 2025, voters in the three district towns (Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge) will decide whether or not to move forward with the plan. With needs across the commonwealth becoming more prevalent every year, construction costs continuing to rise, and the MSBA historically accepting fewer applications, the MSBA has once again recognized Monument Mountain as a high-need facility. It is essential to realize that under any circumstances, the District will be spending significant funds on the high school in the near future. Utilizing the MSBA’s Core Program project now with the benefit of tens of millions in state funding is the most responsible and educationally beneficial choice for our Berkshire Hills taxpayers.