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North Adams Library to Renovate Two More Rooms

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Historical Society and trustees of the North Adam Public Library have allocated funds to renovate some unfinished rooms in the library to store archival material.
 
The trustees motioned Wednesday to spend up to $5,000 from the trustees fund to match funds from the Historical Society needed to prepare two rooms on the third floor for archival storage.
 
"Because of the move, there is no space for a lot of the paper and boxes of files at the Holiday Inn," Trustee Robin Martin said. "So the two rooms that are here that we have been storing some historical stuff in anyways have to be cleaned up."
 
The Historical Society had to leave its museum location at Western Gateway Heritage State Park after the city began discussion to sell the park. The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum has an option on the property. Currently the society is in the process of moving its Museum of History and Science to a spaces on the first floor of the Holiday Inn. 
 
Martin said the two rooms used to be part of the apartment within the library and the walls are in bad condition and covered in lead paint. She said the walls would likely have to be replaced. 
 
She also referred to the two rooms as the "haunted rooms."
 
Martin said the documents that will be stored in the library were not on display at the museum but were in storage.
 
Trustee Ely Janis said everything is cataloged so much of the material will be able to be accessed.
 
He did add that there are plans to digitize much of this material in the future with the help of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 
 
Martin said the Historical Society had offered to donate $5,000 to the cause but that the entire cost was estimated to be $8,000.
 
Because there was some uncertainty in the actual cost the trustees approved up to $5,000.  
 
There are also plans to make some improvements to the parlor in the library and the Friends of the Library sought trustee approval to tear off the old wallpaper and make other improvements.
 
"We have a preliminary plans from an interior decorator," Friend Bonnie Rennell said. "We want to remove the wallpaper ... which is 40 years old and go with a solid color so it looks less busy ... it will make the woodwork and mirror really pop out."
 
The trustees liked the idea and unanimously approved the project.
 
Library Director Sarah Sanfilippo said Guardian Energy Management Solutions recently visited the library to insulate a portion of the belvedere on the first floor where the tower met the building.
 
The trustees were glad that some work was done on the belvedere but were curious if anything else was addressed in the tower structure that has broken windows, structural issues, and is not weather tight.
 
Sanfilippo said they only addressed the job they were hired to do and new Trustee Tara Jacobs asked for some sort of update from the city on where they stand with possibly addressing the belvedere.
 
"I just want to know where we are at and what is going to happen with some of those bigger needs," she said. 
 
In other business, the trustees welcomed Jacobs who was recently appointed to the trustees to replace Nicole Gordon, who resigned a few months ago. Jacobs is also a member of the School Committee.
 
Former Chairman Rich Remsberg attended the meeting briefly to bid the trustees farewell but his term expired June 1. Remsberg announced his plan to resign some months ago but agreed to stay on until the new director was hired.
 
This means the board is in need of one more trustee and Sanfilippo affirmed that the mayor already has a few names to consider.

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Excessive Heat, Humidity Forecast Through Sunday

The National Weather Service is forecasting excessive heat and humidity to begin this afternoon, peaking Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Daytime highs are forecast to be in the 90s to low 100s today through Sunday, with dew points in the low to mid 70s. Little cooling is expected to take place in the overnight hours, with lows in most areas only dropping to the mid 70s to near 80.

Heat index values are expected to reach 95 to 100 degrees this afternoon. Heat index values could reach 107 to 112 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon for most of Massachusetts, with values between 96 and 102 locally in the Berkshires.

This level of heat and humidity is dangerous and relatively rare for this part of the country. Prolonged exposure to heat and humidity will increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

"MEMA urges residents to take precautions during the upcoming extreme heat. Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle, find an air-conditioned public space, cooling center, or other cool spot for relief, and watch for heat-related illnesses," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Samantha Phillips. "Please check on your family, friends, or neighbors to make sure they are safe during the extreme heat."

Local help

In preparation and response to the weather forecast and high heat advisory, the city of North Adams has announced that the following locations are available to residents seeking relief from the heat and humidity:

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