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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Pittsfield 12-Year-Olds Earn Walkoff Win in Little League Sectional
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Dave Wildgoose ripped a single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth to score Joey Roccabruna Friday and give the Pittsfield Little League American Division All-Stars a 5-4, come-from-behind win over Agawam in the 12-year-old sectional tournament.
Cam Harrington and Mitch Hall each singled in the seventh-inning rally, which started with the visitors clinging to a 4-3 lead at Deming Park.
"I just tell them to stay confident," Pittsfield manager Matt Stracuzzi said. "We're a confident team, and I just keep preaching to those guys: Just be confident. Don't get down on yourselves.
"Just because we're down a run or two, it doesn't mean this game is over."
Wetland issues have derailed planned improvements to Pontsoosuc Lake Park.
The Friends of Pontoosuc Lake received $15,000 from the Community Preservation Act with the intent to restore the beach on the Hancock Road side. The city's Parks, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager Jim... click for more
When two men came whipping into the city with police on their tail in March, residents didn't see Pittsfield Police officers hanging out the window shooting their guns off trying to blow out the tires. That only happens in movies.
In fact, residents didn't see Pittsfield Police on the suspect's... click for more
In other business, the Berkshire Innovation Center is on pace for an October opening. The research and development center broke ground in September and now has a new executive director on board in Ben Sosne.
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Keep it simple.
That's what Edward Carmel believes. But he doesn't believe the current City Council is doing that. He feels the council spins its wheels tinkering with things and not accomplishing anything. click for more