Mildred Elley has moved into the first floor of the former KB Toys building on West Street in Pittsfield.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After 22 years on East Street, it was time for Mildred Elley to move.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the school did just that.
On Tuesday, May 27, the school opened the doors to its new location in the former KB Toy building on West Street.
"We have 17,000 square feet in our new space," Campus Director Annette Jeffes said on Friday. "The school was 22 years in the other building, so it was time."
Not only does the new location give the school 3,000 more square feet, it also provides high-speed Internet connectivity and a single floor; the last building at the intersection of East, Fourth and Elm streets had two floors. Now the school has the entire first level of the West Street building.
"Now, we see each other. Everything was so discombobulated before," Jeffes said.
The school offers certificate programs in seven different fields with the most recently added program being practical nursing. School officials wanted to get that program all ready to go before moving into the new building. Once that was done, they finalized the agreement for the move.
"There is a lot that goes into launching a new program. We didn't want to take on too much," Jeffes said.
Starting the Thursday of that long weekend, movers began making the transition, with staff spending the weekend setting everything up. Half of the space was already set up for offices, so they mostly left the space the same. The other half they transformed into the classrooms.
Without missing a single day of programming, the school continued its operations that Tuesday. The organization holds classes Monday through Friday — both day and some nights.
"Most of our programs are one-year certificate programs," Jeffes said. "We try to meet the needs of the community and provide the best kind of training for our students in the area."
Mildred Elley has campuses in Albany, N.Y., and in New York City. The Pittsfield campus was formed in 1991 to train students to be medical assistants. The following year the school moved into the East Street building and began expanding programs. In 2005, the school began offering credit bearing certificate programs.
Jeffes said the school has a focus on staying in the city's downtown for accessibility and added that the students being there also helps the merchants. Many of the school's employers — ones providing jobs and internships — are located downtown.
"I couldn't imagine us moving out of the downtown," she said.