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Tanglewood hosted a ceremonial topping off event at the construction site of the festival's new four-building complex on Monday, Feb. 12.

Berkshires Beat: Final Steel Beam Placed on New Tanglewood Complex

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Moving along

Tanglewood hosted a ceremonial topping off event at the construction site of the festival's new four-building complex on Monday, Feb. 12, celebrating the placement of the final steel beam on top of the building site. The new building complex will support the performances and rehearsal activities of the Tanglewood Music Center — the BSO's prestigious summer music academy — and serve as the home of the new Tanglewood Learning Institute. The beam—which was placed on top of the covered walkway connecting each building—was painted white and signed by the construction team, who were feted at the event in celebration of this project milestone.

Since construction began on the Tanglewood building project in September 2017, Consigli Construction Co., the general contractor on the project, has erected 275 tons of steel (with the average temperature during steel work 25 degrees Fahrenheit), completing the basic structure for the four buildings, including Studio 1, a multi-use performance and lecture space; Studios 2 and 3, two smaller rehearsal and performances spaces; and a 150-seat dining café, designed to be an informal place for audience members and musicians to interact.  The construction of this project began in September 2017 and since then the team of workers on the project have put in 23,921 hours of work, with the peak manpower level hitting 50 people through five months of the project thus far.  The construction team is on schedule for substantial completion of the project in 10 months.  In addition, 72 percent of the subcontracts for the project have been awarded to local western Massachusetts firms, with 16 percent based in Berkshire County.

In addition to the team of construction workers honored today, BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe, BSO Chairman of the Board Susan Paine, BSO Trustee and chair of the TMC/TLI Initiative Committee Joyce Linde, and representatives from William Rawn Associates, Architects and Consigli attended the event.

Scheduled to open in summer 2019, the new four-building complex is being designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, led by William Rawn and Cliff Gayley, and is the largest building project at Tanglewood since the construction of Ozawa Hall (1994), also designed by William Rawn Associates.  Reed Hilderbrand is serving as the project’s landscape architects. Consigli is the general contractor building the new complex, and Skanska is the Owner's Project Manager. Kirkegaard Associates, led by Joseph Myers, are serving as the project's acousticians. Kirkegaard Associates were also the acousticians for Ozawa Hall.

 

Girl power

Area Girl Scout troops are up and running and have availability for more girls. Adams Daisy Troop 64871 is welcoming girls in kindergarten and first grade. Great Barrington Daisy Troop 64834 is welcoming girls in kindergarten and first grade. The troop meets weekly on Wednesdays at 5:45-6:45 pm.

In addition, Hinsdale Junior Troop 12957 is welcoming girls in grade 5. The troop meets monthly on Mondays from 5:45 to 7:15 pm. And Williamstown Girl Scout troops are welcoming girls in grade two, three, five and six. Meeting times vary.

Joining Girl Scouts is a great way to help girls build confidence, try new things, and discover their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader). Previous Girl Scout experience is not necessary. For information on Girl Scouts and how to join, go online.

 

Getting better

Fallon Health, a mission-focused, community-based not-for-profit health care services organization, announced today its continued commitment to addressing health care barriers in underserved communities by distributing grants to organizations throughout Massachusetts.

Of the 10 organizations that received Community Benefits Grants totaling $100,000 in 2017, one was in Berkshire County: Berkshire Health Systems' Operation Better Start (Boys & Girls Club of Pittsfield) received a $10,000 grant for its Berkshire Healthy Students program to increase knowledge of healthy eating, physical activity and parent/community engagement.

Through its Community Benefits Grants program, the company has distributed more than $1.3 million in the last 11 years to local organizations with initiatives that address health care barriers. Since Fallon launched the program, the number of grant requests has increased more than 400 percent.

 

Monopoly for a cause

The seventh annual Raymond James Monopoly Tournament will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Berkshire Hills Country Club, located at 500 Benedict Road in Pittsfield. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Berkshire County Kids Place, a children's advocacy center providing services to children of Berkshire County who have experienced trauma related to abuse. Kids Place serves more than 400 children each year.

The tournament will include a 90-minute preliminary round followed by a 90-minute final round with the top six individual competitors, who will then play for the title of Monopoly Champion. The evening will include prizes, raffles, hors d'oeuvres and awards, including the grand prize of a two-night stay in a lake-view room with a balcony at the LakeHouse Inn in Lee as well as dinner for two at Cork 'n Hearth one evening.

The cost is $30 per player and participants can register as an individual or a team of four to five players. The registration deadline is Feb. 19. Organizations can also become sponsors at one of three different levels: House Owner, Hotel Owner and Mogul. (A discounted Mogul Sponsor rate is available for nonprofit organizations.) For more information, call 413-499-2800, ext. 114, or go online.

 

Making it official

Great Barrington town officials have begun a process that they hope will result in the town's downtown earning an official designation as a cultural district from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Since 2011, the Massachusetts Cultural Council has formally recognized towns and cities that have thriving arts, humanities and science institutions, allowing those organizations enhance their visitors' experiences while positioning communities to better capitalize on these distinct resources.

This initiative is in line with Great Barrington's economic development priorities, which place a strong emphasis on strengthening and marketing the diverse set of cultural destinations in the heart of town. As a first step, representatives from downtown cultural establishments and businesses are invited to a public information session at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Saint James Place, 352 Main St.

The meeting will provide stakeholders with information about what the cultural district distinction would mean for the town, and how it would benefit businesses, residents and visitors alike. Downtown Great Barrington boasts a vibrant landscape, anchored by mainstays like Saint James Place, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Triplex Cinema.

There are currently three communities in Berkshire County with a cultural district designation: Pittsfield's Upstreet Cultural District, Williamstown and North Adams.

 

For the dogs

The 2018 dog licenses are available in the Williamstown town clerk's office. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The current fees are $5 for neutered and spayed dogs and $12 for all others. It is a requirement that all dog owners must provide proof of current rabies vaccination in order to obtain their dog license. Such proof must be in the form of a slip from a veterinarian, rabies tag or from last year's license.

Residents may renew their dog licenses by mail if they send in a current rabies certificate, a check for the correct amount and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Anyone who does not renew their dog license before June 15 will be subjected to a $10 late fee charge. Residents who have questions regarding dog licenses should call the town clerk's office at 413-458-9341.

 

Well, great

The city of Pittsfield was recognized by the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association for its wellness initiatives at the organization's annual business meeting and award ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 20, in Boston. The meeting was a part of the 39th annual Massachusetts Municipal Association Trade Show and Conference, which was held Jan. 19-20.

The city received the "Best Wellness Program for a Newcomer" award for its commitment to the health and well-being of city employees. Personnel Director Michael Taylor and Finance Director Matthew Kerwood, who accepted the award at the meeting, have been instrumental in the development of the city’s wellness efforts. The city’s program also is featured in MIIA's 2017 annual report.

Initiatives include the establishment of the Wellness Center located in the lower level of City Hall and the creation of a wellness committee of employees from every city department. The committee, with assistance from the city's health insurance partners MIIA and Blue Cross & Blue Shield, have implemented several wellness programs and activities over the past year. These include a FitBit Step Challenge, fitness boot camps, a workshop titled "Mindfulness in the Workplace" healthy cooking demonstrations, Weight Watchers at Work, as well as several self-guided programs around weight loss and stress management. 

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