More than two dozen teenagers from Camp Lenox spent Friday cleaning up the west side of Pittsfield.
In partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, the campers cleaned up Durant Park, Columbus Avenue, and opened up the staircase at the end of Francis Avenue that had become overgrown to help people in the neighborhood more easily get to Big Y and CVS.
DeCarolis and Gleason turned over the first sod — though not easily — and officials and board members took turns at the shovels as well. Gleason posed with a large sign with the date and plans to continue that practice to mark the project's progress.
Habitat for Humanity is launching a new program to help both train workers for trades and repair homes.
Executive Director Carolyn Valli said the Build and Repair Corp. will be a paid two and a half month training program for those looking to get into the trades. The group will also be taking on various home repair projects throughout the community.
It'll be a series of first for Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity when it builds six net-zero energy use condominiums on land on Deming Street.
It is the first such project for the organization. It is the first time it had used a panel build day. It is the first time a bank is financing the project. And it is the first for a "homebuilders blitz." The project has been long-awaited but finally broke ground on Friday. And in the end, six families will walk into their first homes for the fir
Following a homicide in the fall, residents of the westside came together calling for more to be done for public safety.
One of those ideas was to open a police substation in the neighborhood. To help answer questions of funding it, Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Carolyn Valli offered space in their Columbus Avenue building for it. Now, three months later, they're looking for volunteers to staff it.
Habitat has put together more pieces to bring the Gordon Deming project to fruition Tuesday night.
The City Council authorized the acceptance of an easement and a $425,000 state grant on Tuesday allowing the long-awaited project to move forward. The $1.1 million project has been in the works for about a decade when Berkshire Gas first donated property on Deming Street. That building has been torn down and Habitat is now planning a six-unit condominium project in its place.
Britton Street resident John Carey said what happened to his home is "the American way."
The elderly veteran is living in the home his grandfather had built. But, it was getting old and falling into disrepair and Carey simply couldn't come up with what was needed to make those fixes.
On a cold and windy morning, some 40 volunteers gave up their afternoon to spruce up Clapp Park.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity organized the clean up as part of its neighborhood revitalization efforts. Lowe's, Habitat for Humanity's national partner, awarded the local organization $40,000 to invest back into west Pittsfield.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity's Gordon Deming project is a go.
The non-profit received the local permits needed on Tuesday for the six-unit, three-building condominium project. The project has been in the works for a decade when Berkshire Gas first donated the property on Deming Street and Executive Director Carolyn Valli believes it will be out to bid in March.
Habitat for Humanity, which was chosen by the town's Affordable Housing Trust to build two single-family homes at the corner of Cole Avenue and Maple Street, is looking for help from a local resident or business.
Habitat for Humanity's long-awaited Gordon Deming condominium project will continue to be long-awaited.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity is now thinking it will be unlikely to break ground on the $1.1 million project this fall as it works through the permitting process. The project was heralded by city and state officials when Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who awarded a $425,000 grant toward it last November but lining up permitting had proven to be a challenge.
At noon on Tuesday, all of the Berkshire Bank branches and operational centers closed.
But, those employees were not far away. In Pittsfield, 150 of them could be found in a vacant storefront on Merrill Road wearing hard hats and putting together wall panels for the soon to be construction of Habitat for Humanity's six-unit Gordon Demming. Others were at the former St. Mark's school cleaning up the playgrounds for Hillcrest Education.
The Affordable Housing Trust voted to let Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity to proceed with a plan to build two houses on a Cole
Avenue lot. The nonprofit had applied to build three single-family homes.
After January's community forum where a number of neighbors objected to the idea of three homes on the parcel, Habitat came back to the Affordable Housing Trust for direction before the non-profit goes any further in its design process.
Habitat for Humanity in December discussed with the Affordable Housing Trust subdividing the parcel to create a third lot, a division that would be easier under the commonwealth's Chapter 40B provision, which gives relief from local zoning to subsidized housing projects.
Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Building Project Manager Paul Austin explained how the group plans to build three two-story homes of about 1,200-square feet, subdividing the lot into three separate housing parcels.
Last February, Diane Sturtevant and Norma DelSonno looked at each other, knowing what the other was thinking.
They jumped into the car and took off from the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Office and drove to 92 Clarendon Street, which was then just a snow covered lot. DelSonno looked over the site would have enough of a yard for her family to build a snowman.
Eight years ago Berkshire Gas donated a parcel of land on Deming Street to Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.
The non-profit worked with White Engineering to design a condominium project featuring three buildings, with two units in each.