|Wahconah Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Building Feasibility Study|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff|
08:33PM / Saturday, April 08, 2017
|Building project proponents appeal to potential voters outside the polling place in Dalton on Saturday afternoon.|
DALTON, Mass. — Nearly 75 percent of those voting in the Central Berkshire Regional School District on Saturday cast ballots to move the district forward in the process of renovating or replacing Wahconah Regional High School.
The question was whether the district should spend $850,000 on a feasibility study to look at options for the 56-year-old school.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority will reimburse the district for between 50 and 54 percent of the cost of the feasibility study, according to district officials. The same reimbursement rate from MSBA would apply if and when the district decides to move forward with any building project.
On Saturday, 1,761 voters turned out to decide on the feasibility study, and the margin was 1,313-448 in favor.
The question passed by overwhelming margins in five of the district's seven towns.
Only Cummington voted against the study, by a margin of 48-22. In Peru, it was a dead heat, 65-65.
In each of the other towns, the question passed by at least a 2-to-1 ratio.
In Dalton, the district's largest town and home of the high school, the vote was 774-178.
In the other four towns where the question passed, the margins were: Becket, 108-38; Hinsdale, 171-83; Washington, 80-12; and Windsor, 93-24.
The Wahconah Building Project Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 4:30 to discuss next steps in the process.
During the feasibility stage, which is directed by the MSBA, districts engage with architects and engineers for up to 18 months to look at options for building, which officials say is deteriorating, outdated and inadequate to meet the needs of a 21st century high school.