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100 North St. has been the source of news for the last few years.

Pittsfield Extends Lease For Offices at 100 North St.

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer has no plans to move the city offices currently at 100 North St. back to City Hall.

An array of city offices were moved from the basement of City Hall back in 2014 to the mezzanine level of 100 North. The move, under former Mayor Daniel Bianchi, caused consternation from some of the city councilors at the time because it didn't need council approval.

The move had led to a battle outside of the City Council chambers when Bianchi charged former Councilor Barry Clairmont $63.95 for documents relating to the move — a charge Clairmont balked at. Clairmont and Bianchi had also clashed over the former mayor's use of an office in the building.

Now, nearly four years later, some city councilors asked if there is a plan to move the offices out of leased space and into property already publicly owned.

"Are we always going to rent it? Are we going to buy the building? Or are we just going to rent it forever?" asked Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Simonelli.

Simonelli had put in a petition a few years ago asking a full assessment of the condition of City Hall. He believes there isn't a time when the city would look to demolish it, so it should be fixed up now.

The city had hired Barry Architects to dig into the area around the front stairs as it looked to find what was causing flooding in the basement. And in 2016, former Director of Building Maintenance Denis Guyer had begun to mitigate the issues with the basement.

The moisture getting into the basement caused concerns with mold and the air quality that had been long cited as problematic — to the point where radon detectors were installed. That preceded the moving of offices out and now the space is only used for storage. 

"I am not at all, at this point, thinking about 100 North St. returning to the basement," Mayor Linda Tyer said.

In fact, the administration had already signed an extension to the lease — which also did not need City Council approval. Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood said the newly signed lease is for three more years. It had gone to bid and CT Management (Scarafoni Associates) was the only company to bid on it.

"We are in that building for another three years," Kerwood said.

Further, the mayor said the city spent "almost $800,000" on making the actual move — though accounting delivered at the time placed that number at bit more than $80,000 — and believes that money would be somewhat wasted if the city moved out so quickly.

"Its turned out to be a fairly productive space. It is good for the employees," Tyer said.

The conversation regarding the space derived from two donations to the employee gym. The gym had been pieced together by Director of Personnel Michael Taylor thanks to a grant from the city's insurance company.

The City Council voted on Tuesday to accept a Pro-Form 700 CardioCross Trainer Elliptical Exerciser from Lt. Gary Traversa and a Nordic Track cx995 Elliptical Exerciser from former City Councilor Clairmont.

For full disclosure: iBerkshires has an office at 100 North St.

Tags: city hall,   leasing,   North Street,   

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Pittsfield Votes Hybrid Education Model, Considers Remote Start

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee has voted to go forward with a hybrid education model with the possibility of a fully remote beginning to the school year.
During the second half Thursday's meeting, the committee directed the administration to go forward with a morning/afternoon hybrid education model with the option to begin the school year remote.
"Today we are attempting to thread a needle of being respectful of the negotiation we are doing with our teachers and be respectful of the community that has weighed in in large numbers to say that they want to see some sort of version of in-person school," Superintendent Jason McCandless said. 
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