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Taconic High School Construction: Fixtures and Finishes The Focus

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Many of the classrooms are completed and awaiting furnishings.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tiling, fixtures, flooring, more tiling, painting, and ceilings. 
 
That's what's getting the biggest focus at the new Taconic High School building.
 
The mechanical systems are mostly complete and now the finishing touches are being installed throughout most of the building. 
 
The $120.8 million project has been ongoing for two years and is expected to be completed this summer. At the end of June, the work will be completed and in July and August, equipment and materials from the current school will be moved to the new one.
 
The project is being overseen by Gilbane Construction and Skanska USA.
 
Many of the fixtures have been installed, including kitchen equipment, toilets, cabinets in some rooms, lighting, and heating systems, and ceilings are being installed throughout. Some classrooms are basically completed, including the art room which has a number of desks already in place.
 
Upon entering the main entrance, a hallway to the left features the nurse's office and early childhood care classrooms and to the right are offices for guidance counselors, principal, and other staff. Directly in front will be a welcome desk and this weekend a grand staircase will be delivered to be installed, bringing people up to the all-glass enclosed media center.
 
The auditorium is enclosed, which is to the left of the welcome desk and staircase. The sloped floor for the auditorium seating is completed and electricians are finishing the wiring for the lighting.
 
In the gym, painting is complete, the partition is installed, and basketball hoops are up. One of the last items scheduled to be installed is the wood floor. The locker rooms are painted and tiled, and the lockers themselves have been delivered. Those are set to be installed.
 
Across the hall from those spaces is the cafeteria. That has some of the equipment already installed. To the north, on the other side of the cafeteria, is the culinary arts kitchen and classroom. Between the two there will be a cafe for the students to serve the food they made in the program. Beyond culinary will be cosmetology.
 
On the second floor of the eastern side of the building, the arts, a computer lab, health and spaces for the medical program are all coming along. A number of fixtures and equipment has been installed and much of the flooring is complete. 
 
Many of the floors throughout the upper levels of the building have been completed and are now covered for protection. Tiling, painting, and other wall finishes are also well underway and all three elevators have been installed. 
 
There is a significant amount of tile in the building and a lot more to be done. The walls throughout the building, in hallways and stairwells, will all feature tiling.
 
Painting is ongoing throughout the building and a large number of electricians are on site.
 
Gilbane has structured the work to start on the upper floors and move downward. The academic classrooms on the third floor, on the eastern portion of the building, are pretty close to being done. The second and first-floor classrooms are trailing slightly behind. 
 
The academic classrooms are arranged in pod-like fashion. The classrooms in each pod are arranged in a half circle off of the main hallway and surround teacher's offices and a shared common area. The science labs are across the hall, with views of the mountains to the south.
 
The shops are on the first floor in the eastern portion of the building and shop classrooms are located across the hall.
 
Furniture has all been chosen and ordered. 
 
iBerkshires has been following the construction since the beginning. Below is a slideshow from each visit. The newest slides are first and the rest are in chronological order.



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Holyoke Mayor Morse Challenges Neal In Congressional Race

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

Morse is joined by a large crowd of supporters at the Unicorn Inn on Monday night.
HOLYOKE, Mass. — They said he couldn't do it.
 
There is no way a 21-year-old, turning 22, could defeat an incumbent mayor with years of political experience. And there was no way the city of Holyoke was ever going to be as good as it had been.
 
"When I ran for mayor eight years ago, people had a few things to say. They said No. 1, wait your turn. No. 2 maybe run for something else. Or No. 3, don't run at all, you are too young, too gay, too progressive, you are not going get elected here in the city of Holyoke," Alex Morse said at the Unicorn Inn on Monday night to a crowd full of supporters.
 
"And what did we do?"
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