Pittsfield School Committee Approves Adult Learning Center Move

By Joe DurwinPittsfield Correspondent
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The Adult Learning Center was approved for a new lease on North Street by the city's school committee Thursday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following two bidding processes, a split City Council decision and an injunction in Berkshire Superior Court, the school department's Adult Learning Center was approved on Thursday for a new lease on North Street by the School Committee.
 
The center's relocation from its previous home on Lyman Street was approved in June after a 7-4 vote by the City Council, although there were staunch objections by its then landlord and councilors who felt locating it in the city's main retail corridor represented poor urban planning. The rationale behind the center's move was based on the fact that GDL Associates, which owns the new 141 North St. location, offered a lower rent during the required bidding process.
 
The move hit a snag the following month, however, after prior landlord Philip Massery filed for and was granted an injunction preventing the city from implementing its new contract with GDL Associates. Massery's complaint alleged that the North Street space offered in GDL's bid at the time did not meet the educational center's minimum requirements and criteria put forth in its request for proposals, an argument that was upheld by Berkshire Superior Judge John Agnostini.
 
Following a second request for proposals, Kristen Behnke reported that the school department this time had only received one bid, that of GDL.  
 
"It does meet all the requirements, and there's a savings over last year of $7,800," Behnke said.
 
The committee voted unanimously to approve the new lease at 141 North St., where the center has already begun holding its classes for this year. The new lease will be for one year, instead of five in the overturned first lease, with an option for up to two one-year renewals at the sole discretion of the School Committee. 

Tags: adult learning,   Pittsfield School Committee,   relocation,   

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BCArc Names New Director of Employment Services

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc named Shaun Hall the new Director of Employment Services. 
 
Hall will oversee community-based Employment Services, which include more than 120 Berkshire employers, and the expanding School-to-Career transition services.
 
The program provides individualized employment services that help people with a wide range of disabilities succeed at work. In turn, employers throughout the Berkshires are afforded a cost-effective way to hire and retain reliable employees.
 
Hall has led the agency's training department for the past ten years as Director of Staff Development and Training.
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