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The windows on much of the building have been installed, and the framing for the rest is being done now.

Taconic Construction: Halfway Point In Sight

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Artist's rendition of the new Taconic High School building once completed.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Construction on the new Taconic High School is quickly approaching the halfway point.
 
By the end of the month, the $120.8 million project should be right at the 50 percent completion mark.
 
The target is to have the entire building enclosed by Thanksgiving, furniture starting to be moved into the building in March, and then ready for occupancy next summer. 
 
Right now, all of the precast concrete work on the exterior has been completed and steel is close to being completed. Since school let out, workers have expanded into the main driveway to work on the main water drainage system.
 
The utilities and mechanicals are the main focus right now with permanent power being turned on last month, and Berkshire Gas currently finishing up the infrastructure to turn on the permanent gas.
 
The electrical, cable, and internet infrastructure is in place. The gas system is running throughout the building. And the ventilation system is following closely behind. New boilers and hot water heater have been installed.
 
The concrete for the balcony in the auditorium, steel for the catwalk, and the walls have all been complete. Workers are now building where the seating will be.
 
The gym is just about complete as well. Workers had dug up what would be the floor months ago to lay electrical conduit but that has been placed, buried, and the floor is leveled. The gym is just awaiting the final concrete pour on the floor, which is expected in August, and then the walls can be painted.
 
The painting has not begun yet but should be started in the next month or so. The interior designers have always tested the paint colors in some sections, getting a view of how they'll look when actually placed on the walls. 
 
The most visible for those driving by is the outside facade. There ground face block is being installed by masons around the perimeter of the building. Above that, metal work will follow. At the top in many places, including the gym, will be translucent fiberglass, which will let light in by won't be see-through.
 
Windows have been installed throughout much of the building already and framing the places that are left is currently underway. 
 
In the classroom areas, a large amount of drywall has been put up and stud walls are going up in some sections. The shop sections still need concrete flooring but have outlined. The section on the eastern side of the building is trailing behind in construction, as workers focused more on the main section of the building first. 
 
There are about 150 tradesmen working on the building right now. In the fall, that number should eclipse 200 and a new parking area is being created to add spots for when school is back in session. The students have just one more year in the current Taconic and in the fall of 2018, the first classes will be held in the new building. The old building will then be torn down.
 
iBerkshires has been following the construction since the beginning. Below is a slideshow from each visit. The latest photos are first, and then the slideshow is in chronological order since the start of construction.


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BCAC Taps Community For Needs Assessment

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Christina Maxwell of the Food Bank of Western Mass talks  about food security.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Poverty was the topic of conversation on Friday to help the Berkshire Community Action Council gauge the needs in the community.
 
Community leaders and experts lead a panel Friday morning at the Berkshire Athenaeum to help spark a conversation among participants focused on poverty and its different catalysts.   
 
"We are all interested in working on the destabilizing effects poverty is having on our community and so we hope that we will get some good information here," BCAC Executive Director Deborah Leonczyk said. "So please give us your ideas, your suggestions. Give us your experiences we need to hear it all."
 
She said as the federally designated anti-poverty agency in the county, every three years BCAC must "take the pulse" of the community and find out what the needs are. This will inform the action plan for the next three years.
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