GRANBY, Mass (WGGB) — Hundreds turned out in Granby Monday night at the Junior-Senior High School to decide the future of another school in town.
On the meeting’s agenda – a vote on authorizing a nearly $1,000,000 feasibility study for their aging elementary school.
Built back in the 40′s, West Street School is reaching the end of its structural life and Granby officials say it’s time for the town to decide whether to fix it or build a new one.
“It still has steam heating and electricity,” said Granby Selectman Mark Bail. “Everything is basically outdated. Septic system failing. It’s a building that’s done a good service to the town over the last 60 years but it’s time to move on.”
By authorizing a feasibility study to determine how best to move forward the town is following the Massachusetts School Building Association – or MSBA guidelines.
That means even though Granby will put up $800,000 from its municipal building stabilization fund, they expect the state to reimburse them.
The final cost will be less than half or about $343,000.
Still a lot of money but not nearly as much as if the town simply went in and started making repairs on its own.
“There’s a code trigger and once you spend about $250,000 on the building everything needs to be brought up to code so from a small repair it becomes prohibitively expensive,” explained Bail.
After about an hour of discussion the townsfolk were ready to vote.
And by a unanimous show of hands, the article was approved and the feasibility study passed.
“I really believe that we need the study to get the money from the state. It’s the only way we’re going to go forward with anything so i though it was a good idea to vote for it,” said town resident Brian Pike.
“My husband and I both had questions about this when we came in here. We were really undecided so coming in and hearing what had to be said about this study I think was very positive and I think it answered a lot of questions people had,” said Lynn Kleindienst of Granby.
The time frame for the study is expected to be about 6 months.
And depending on how the town decides to move forward – it will take anywhere from 3 to 4 years to either fix the West Street School – or build a brand new one.