Contact: Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for community and government relations, [email protected] or (413) 597-4233
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 11, 2016—Williams College announced today that it will form a $5 million fund to support the Mount Greylock Regional School District’s capital needs outside the scope of the building project that the district is pursuing with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).
“Williams is pleased to be able to strengthen further its partnership with Mt. Greylock to include a fund for the school district’s capital needs, current or future, that fall outside the proposed project with the MSBA,” Williams President Adam Falk said. “The fund is designed to support supplementary capital projects in ways that will increase educational value and reduce costs to the district and its member towns.”
In the next fiscal year, which begins this July 1, the college will establish the Fund for Mt. Greylock Regional School District Capital Projects, with beginning principal of $5 million.
For all of the funds in its endowment the college each year determines what percent of the market value of the principal will be distributed to spending accounts. This payout rate is typically between 4.5 percent and 5 percent. Any additional earning or growth is added to the principal so that it can grow over time. Unused dollars in each spending account are carried forward in that account from year to year. For this new fund at any time, beginning with the 2016-17 fiscal year, the amount in the spending account and any or all of the principal will be available for capital projects as determined by the Mt. Greylock School Committee.
Williams has a similar fund for Williamstown Elementary School (WES). It was built over five fiscal years (2006 to 2010), with original principal of $1.1 million. Since then WES has spent from the fund’s spending account almost $214,000, the account balance is almost $214,000, and as of June 30, 2015, the fund’s principal had grown to $1.5 million.
The Mt. Greylock Fund will have its full original principal of $5 million beginning July 2016.
In addition to establishing this new fund for capital needs at Mt. Greylock, Williams has begun researching ways to invest substantially in the facility, if it is constructed, in ways that would further lower its greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its utility costs. In accordance with MSBA regulations, the current project is designed to meet the silver standard of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The college investment would aim to make the facility even more environmentally sound and energy efficient.
“Mt. Greylock is very fortunate to have now both the prospect of financial support from the MSBA for the main building project and from Williams for other projects, which will enhance educational quality, spare our member towns these capital costs, and reduce our utility bills going forward,” said Mt. Greylock Superintendent Doug Dias. “This is truly an exciting moment for our school and for our community.”
These capital investments by Williams are in addition to the college’s commitment announced in November 2015 of $200,000 per year to Mount Greylock’s operating revenue. That commitment also begins with the 2016-17 fiscal year. It continues and increases the operating support of the donor-provided Williams Fund For Mount Greylock, which over the past five years has made $777,000 available to the school.
The college also operates and fully supports the Williams Center at Mt. Greylock, which works to maximize the educational value that the college can provide the school. The center does this through regular and one-time programs that integrate Williams students, faculty, and staff into the academic and extracurricular life of Mt. Greylock.
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.