WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Building Committee last week took a break from talking about the district's future to recognize how its present staff is working diligently to help move the project forward.
Robert Ericson, a Lanesborough selectman and former member of the School Committee who serves on the SBC's facilities working group, told his colleagues that he did not think people realized how much work Jesse Wirtes and the custodial crew do.
"Not only do they have to keep the school going on a day-to-day basis, but they have to attend to Turner [Construction] and the architects and all the work that is going on in the background here.
"Between running around like crazy, answering questions, being concerned about the traffic out front, I don't think anyone appreciates how hard these guys are working and the hours they're putting in."
The district's business manager, who also serves on the School Building Committee, echoed Ericson's remark.
"I always say, I don't know what other schools do without a Jesse and a Rob [Wnuk]," Nancy Rauscher said. "They're incredible resources, and they're very passionate. [Interim Superintendent Kim Grady] and I talk about it all the time."
Ericson told the committee that Wnuk went through every drawing of every room in the plans for the renovation and addition to analyze details down to the location of the electrical outlets.
"I can tell you from a lot of experience, he must have spent hundreds of hours going over those drawings, in addition to doing his regular job," Ericson said.
School Building Committee co-Chairwoman Paula Consolini added that Wirtes has been helping the committee with its community outreach efforts by posting a timeline
and photos on the SBC's website
and videos viewable through the building project's Facebook page.
"You've documented [the construction work] clearly beyond your regular time," Consolini told Wirtes.
Consolini added that Principal Mary MacDonald, who serves on the School Building Committee, also deserves the group's thanks for her efforts on the project's design working group. MacDonald previously was the point person for the SBC in developing an education plan that earned praise from the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
"We have a lean staff, and listening takes a lot of effort — not just listening to the staff but to the community as well," Consolini said.