Frequently Asked Questions


QUESTION: What is the breakdown of the $850,000 Feasibility Study and what are the expected products?

ANSWER: The feasibility study is expected to cost up to $850,000.  This amount was determined by examining projects of similar schools within Berkshire County and the state.

Locally, Mt. Greylock high school appropriated $850,000 for their feasibility study last year and Berkshire Hills Regional School District appropriated $750,000 approximately three years ago.

This study is conducted by an architect under the management of an owner’s project manager hired by and in collaboration with the School Building Committee.  Its’ purpose is to investigate potential options and solutions and to provide cost estimates for each alternative.  The study will include analysis of areas such as current electrical, mechanical, structural, safety, code compliance, energy management, site, space, data and communication, enrollment and curriculum planning needs of the school.  Conceptual and schematic designs and drawings for the solution that is determined to be most feasible will be drawn after the in depth analysis is completed.  This design will include a detailed scope of the proposed project, architectural and site drawings, a description of the major building construction systems which are proposed, a budget cost estimate, projected cash flow, permitting requirements, project design and construction schedule.

QUESTION: Why does the election warrant require CBRSD to ask for $850,000 when MSBA will be paying for 54%?

ANSWER: It is a requirement of the MSBA as per their bulletin 11-03.  
From the MSBA website:  The regional school committee must vote to appropriate and authorize the full amount of a feasibility study’s cost, including both the local share and the MSBA’s share, if any. The total budget amount must be authorized and approved. 
Where required, member communities of a regional school district must vote to approve the project as approved by the regional school committee.

QUESTION: What would be impact on average single family home tax bill?

ANSWER: Information for each town can be found on the Feasibility Study Vote Information page.

QUESTION:  What will be the grade configuration?

ANSWER: The feasibility period is about what will be studied not what will be built.  The study will look at different grade level configurations and determine what will ultimately be built.

QUESTION: How is the percentage reimbursement from MSBA calculated?

ANSWER: The 2016 calendar year base reimbursement rate for the Central Berkshire Regional School District is 54.79%. The base reimbursement is calculated every January, so if the District executes a Feasibility Study Agreement during this calendar year, it will stay the same; if the FSA is signed after January 1, 2017 the new rate will be used. Reimbursement rate incentive points (maintenance, Add/Reno, etc.) become applicable once a project has entered into a Project Funding Agreement for the preferred option.

Refer to the following link

QUESTION: Will the Feasibility Study be reimbursed at that rate?

ANSWER: The MSBA reimburses for the cost for the feasibility study regardless of whether the vote for full funding of the project passes or fails.

QUESTION: What if the votes are not favorable, are there any other options or is that it?

ANSWER: At this time the MSBA doesn’t offer extensions to the 270-day deadline.  If there were to be another vote attempted following an unsuccessful first vote, that would need to be within the 270 days.  If a vote is not secured by June 1, 2017 by a district, the district is seen as having not met the pre-requisite requirements to be invited into the program for a feasibility study and a potential project.  The eligibility period would end and the district would not move into the next phase.  Any future interaction with MSBA would require a new SOI to be submitted. 

QUESTION:Why do we need a new building at this time? 

ANSWER: A statement of interest has been submitted to the MSBA annually for the past ten years, prior to being invited into the program in December of 2015.  The staff at Wahconah do an excellent job of educating students despite the limitations of the building.  However, these limitations do result in difficulty and barriers to fully implementing an education consistent with 21st Century Learning Goals.  

View the PREZI below to see more about the needs of the building:

QUESTION: Why is the amount of the feasibility study $850,000?

ANSWER:   The amount was determined by reviewing similar district's (enrollment etc.) costs. For example, Mt. Greylock's (Williamstown, Lanesboro) feasibility study cost $850,000 and Berkshire Hills (Great Barrington, Stockbridge & W Stockbridge) appropriated $750,000. when that district began this process.   There are other districts across the state that have appropriated similar amounts. Central Berkshire's amount of $850,000 follows suit.  Typically, about 1% of the estimated construction cost is for architectural services during the feasibility phase;  and about .50 % of the construction cost equates to the OPM (project manager) costs during the feasibility phase. There  is also a small amount included for contingency expenses. 

The MSBA will provide reimbursement for approximately half of the expenses.

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