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The new ice re-surfacer was delivered on Friday.

Community Helps Boys & Girls Club Replace 40-year-old Zamboni

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The new resurfacer was placed in a shipping crate and hoisted through a door on the third floor, where the rink is located.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Boys & Girls' Club has finally replaced its 40-year-old ice re-surfacer.
The new Olympia was delivered on Friday to replace the Zamboni that had been used since the rink's inception in the 1970s. A crane was contracted to lift the new piece of equipment up to the club's third story after a yearlong process of fundraising and purchasing.
"This is a 2000 model. It has very low miles or hours, as they say, so we came through with the purchase with LSK Enterprises down in Virginia Beach. The total cost for the machine and for the crane was around $59,000," said Executive Director Chris Jacoby.
The new re-surfacer — Zamboni is the name of a company making re-surfacers and is the generally known term for the equipment — wouldn't have been possible without a massive fundraising effort. Over the course of the last year businesses and individuals raised the money for the purchase through a number of avenues.
Jacoby said Berkshire Bank helped kick start the fundraising effort with a $30,000 donation, an anonymous donor then chipped in $10,000 through a challenge grant, and then individuals and a GoFundMe page wrapped it all up. 
"It is a real testament to people in the community, businesses, and individuals, that they support our programming like this," Jacoby said. 
The new re-surfacer comes from the private Westminster School and has around 2,500 hours on it, according to Jacoby. It runs on propane, replacing a gas-fueled one, and grooms the ice down to an inch instead of two.
"The new one is going to obviously have a much better performance and will not be breaking down like the old one was on a regular basis. No. 2, it is going to make better ice. Right now the old machine makes ice and keeps it at a 2-inch thickness. What you want is a 1-inch thickness of your ice. It is better for skating, it provides a better skating surface, and because it is thinner there is less energy needed to be used by the compressors to keep the ice hard," Jacoby said.
Brandon Kingsbury is one of the club's drivers and said the old 1970s Zamboni would work Okay on some days but not so well on others. Often he'd have trouble getting it started or it would break down. For him and the other drivers, the replacement is a welcomed addition.
"It is a pretty big deal. The Zamboni, we've had it forever. It is old and on its last leg," Kingsbury said. "Now we've got the new one and we've been looking forward to it for a while... We're all pretty excited about it."
Jacoby said continuous breaking down and ongoing maintenance became a burden to the club in both time and money. Meanwhile, the participation numbers in the ice-related programs have been growing so a working re-surfacer is as important now as ever.

It was a tight fit trying to get the new machine out of the crate and onto the ice.
"It was 40 years old and it was time," Jacoby said. "It was old and it was breaking down. The maintenance of it was costing us money every year."
The rink is used by hundreds of people every year. The programs include youth, high school, middle school, and men's hockey leagues. It is used by the speed-skating club and the club runs a figure skating program. And, every weekend the rink is opened for public skate.
This year, it will have additional usage as it hosts the 46th annual Gib Kittredge Youth Hockey Tournament, which will bring in teams from all over the Northeast.
Board of Directors President Cynthia Spinola was one of the many on hand Friday to welcome the new piece of equipment. She profusely thanked everybody in the community who helped make the purchase possible.
"Since our rink was constructed on the third floor 45 years ago, we've been using the same Zamboni. But now due to the generous contributions of the community, including our donors and board members and staff, we have an opportunity to bring in a new, 21st century Zamboni to keep our ice going for the next 45 years," Cynthia Spinola.
The old Zamboni is going to LSK Enterprises as a trade in, where it will likely be used for parts.

Tags: boys and girls club,   skating rink,   

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CBRSD Introducing Vaping Intervention Programing

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff

The Central Berkshire Regional School District is concerned about the spread of vaping in the student body. It's hoping educational programming for parents and students will help deter its use. 
DALTON, Mass. — The Central Berkshire Regional School District is looking at programming to inform its faculty, parents, and students of the hazards of vaping.
There are a lot of programs available to educate and provide students the tools to prevent or quit vaping so the district is looking to Tobacco Free Community Partnership program manager Joyce Brewer for guidance, Superintendent Leslie Blake-Davis said at Thursday's School Committee meeting. 
Although there are only a couple known cases, the district is concerned about the number of students who are choosing to vape because of its health concerns. 
"We have a genuine concern. This doesn't happen often in [Central Berkshire Regional School District,]" Blake-Davis said.
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