PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A mild autumn has helped move along outside work at the new Taconic High School.
As December sets in, concrete is still being poured. The mild weather has allowed workers to put sidewalks all around the school.
A parking lot in the north and roads in and out have all received the first layer of blacktopping. If the weather hadn't been as mild, that outside work would have waited until the spring.
Inside, the building is already prepared for the winter. Construction managers had a schedule calling for the building to be buttoned up in November, and heating pumped in to keep the building warm for finishing work throughout. Both of those targets have been hit.
By the end of October, the building was 62.8 percent complete and workers have been knocking out around 4 percent of the project per month. The work pace has been hitting the milestones on time, with an expected completion by the end of June. After that, furniture and equipment will be moved in to prepare the classrooms for the school year.
In October, the number of workers on site peaked at 178. Now, there are about 162 workers of all trades there. The $120.8 million project has been under construction for about a year and a half. And in many areas now, it is starting to look like a school.
The girl's locker room has maybe had the most noticeable change in recent months. Tiles have been placed on the wall throughout and walls have been painted. The locker room is on the second floor. Workers have started on the upper floors and moving down. The boy's locker room is a floor below and hasn't had tiling yet.
But on the second floor on the westernmost side of the building, tiling has been installed along the hallway walls, about three-quarters of the way up. Painters, meanwhile, are inside the classrooms putting the first few coats on.
The gymnasium's roof is now getting painted as well. The gym floor, however, won't be installed for a while so the wide open space is being used for storing material.
The auditorium's stage has been poured. There is still work to be done near the roof, such as hanging the curtain, so the floor remains dirt and flat. Once that work toward the roof is complete, the ground will be dug down and sloped and concrete poured. The stage too will have a wood floor, which is expected to be installed this spring.
Workers have also begun to build a large staircase, which takes visitors from the main entrance to the media center and classrooms on the upper floors. The media center, which may be the most visually appealing part of the exterior with large pieces of glass spanning up a slanted room allowing significant natural light in, has a bit more framing work to go.
The easternmost side, which houses the shops on the first floor and classrooms on the upper floors, isn't as far along. But, just a few months ago the classrooms upstairs were merely framed out. Now, walls have gone up and painting has begun.
The building is still being powered by generators but those will soon be replaced with the building's permanent power.
iBerkshires has been following the construction since the beginning. Below is a slideshow from each visit. The slideshow is in chronological order since the start of construction.
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Boston Pops Cancels Spring Season; Tanglewood Decision Set for May
LENOX, Mass. — The Boston Pops has canceled its spring season and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's return to its summer home at Tanglewood is yet unknown.
The Pops' spring season from mid-May to June was to have celebrated Keith Lockhart's 25th anniversary season has been postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BSO officials say they are in daily conversations to assess the advisability of proceeding with upcoming programming over the next few months, including the 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and the 2020 Tanglewood season, in connection with the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, BRPC Executive Director Tom Matuszko told the agency's executive committee that one of its initiatives was able to quickly pivot to addressing the fallout from the novel coronavirus.
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The online store features a variety of vendors and is open to all local residents. Those who have SNAP benefits or those who have recently lost their jobs or are facing economic hardship from the pandemic are eligible for $30 a week in free food from the Virtual Farmers Market.
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