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Residents of the new building cut the ribbon on Monday.
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The building features multiple common spaces.
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Fireplaces will make it a cozy place in the winter.
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Mayor Daniel Bianchi said Berkshire Place fills a need in the city.
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Board President Shaun Heimann kicks off the ceremony.
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Rob Rosier, of Allegrone Construction, gives a tour of the building.
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Executive Director Edward Forfa stressed the non-profit's community-centered approach.
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The mayor gives a little extra assistance to the residents cutting the ribbon.

Berkshire Place Cuts Ribbon On New Pittsfield Facility

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The organization will move into its new home on Wednesday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents of Berkshire Place will move Wednesday into their new home: a $10 million new building on South Street.
The nonprofit held a ribbon cutting at the new building Monday afternoon, two days before the big move.
The organization tore down the former St. Theresa's Church on South Street for the new 54-room facility.
"The existing building is 125 years old," said Executive Director Edward Forfa. "This will allow us to improve upon the services we provide."
Over the organization's rich history, it has changed from being an independent living center to providing more skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
The new structure has 27 long-term care beds on the upper floor, 13 short-term beds and 14 memory supports on the second floor. The first floor features office, lobby, chapel, spa, beauty salon and rehabilitation gym.
"We have an enhanced rehabilitation space," Forfa said when asked what features of the new building stand out the most.
That space will be used to help patients recover from knee, hip and similar type surgeries and injuries. But Forfa also said the common areas stand out because of their intimate nature, featuring fireplaces and chairs for residents to share.
Rob Rosier, who managed the construction site for Allegrone Construction, said an average of 100 workers — a mix of carpenters and subcontractors — were on site each work day in the last 13 months to finish on the "aggressive schedule."
"It was an aggressive schedule for a building of this size," he said.
The church was demolished in September 2013 and the foundation laid in January. Workers braved the bitter cold winter and polar vortexes to finish the steel work.
"With some great weather in the summer, we were able to make up for any delays from the winter," Rosier said.
Allegrone did the carpentry work in house as well as manage the entire project. It subcontracted items such as the plumbing, heating system and electrical. Forfa said the nonprofit tried to hire as many local companies as possible.
"We're community-centered," Forfa said. "We're not a chain. We're not a public company."
Mayor Daniel Bianchi said nonprofits like Berkshire Place fill a need in the city. He said an elderly skilled nursing and outpatient rehabilitation center is the perfect replacement for the aging church.
"It came out beautifully and there is such a need for a facility like this," he said.
Forfa said the building came in on budget. The company received financing through MassDevelopment, NBT Bank and Adams Community Bank. The building was designed by EGA PC Architects.

Tags: long term care,   rehabilitation,   skilled nursing,   

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Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing: There's Both This Week on Local Stages

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column

Downtown Pittsfield Third Thursdays — TL Collective

Each third Thursday of the month, streets are closed in downtown Pittsfield and all kinds of music rocks the city. Featured June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Dance Zone at the north end of the street festival is TL Collective, the athletic, family-friendly contemporary and hip-hop moves of Micaela Taylor's company. The group performs an evening length work "Drift." The aim, according to organizers, is to "demonstrate an individual's ever-changing relationship to self while exposing a personal season of self-growth."

You can find the dance zone near the corner of Bradford and North Streets in front of St. Joseph’s Church.  This program is a presentation of the Berkshires stalwart Jacob's Pillow.


Jacob's Pillow

Ballet BC is coming to Jacob's Pillow this week.

At the Pillow's expansive home in Becket, the featured company in the Ted Shawn Theater this week is Ballet BC, which is celebrating 10 years under the innovative leadership of artistic director and former company member Emily Molnar.

"Truly contemporary" is how one reviewer described the Vancouver-based troupe. On the bill this week is Molnar's most recent work "To this day," along with the U.S. premiere of "Bedroom Folk." The latter work originated with the Nederlands Dans Theater and was created by Israeli collaborators Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, among others.

This program runs Wednesday, June 19, through Sunday, June 23, at 8 p.m.,  with matinees on Saturday and Sunday in addition to evenings.

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