Berkshire Place Cuts Ribbon On New Pittsfield Facility
|The organization will move into its new home on Wednesday.|
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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