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Bids for relocating and renovating the former doctors' building are due on Sept. 5.
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Plans for the renovated structure.

North Adams Airport Expects Multiple Bids for Building Project

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Airport Commission voted to accept a federal grant and got an update on the terminal project and operations.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Airport Commission has already received nearly 80 responses on moving and renovating the former Northern Berkshire Family Practice building.
 
The city plans to move the vacant medical building about 580 feet farther south at Harriman & West Airport, renovate it and use it as a new administrative building.
 
"We have had a very good showing close to 80 different responses," Peter Enzien of Stantec Consulting Services, the airport's engineer, said. "It means it is competitive." 
 
The commission had hoped to build a new $4 million structure but the funding, largely through the state, fell through. The doctor's building has been closed since the practice was moved to the former North Adams Regional Hospital campus. The building was owned by Berkshire Health Systems but is located on airport land and the health-care system offered to donate it to the city rather than sell or demolish it. 
 
General bids are due Sept. 5 for the relocation and renovation of the 5,340 square foot building, estimated at $2.1 million, and work could start in early September.
 
Enzien said the actual moving of the building could take less than a day.
 
"It should be no longer than a day maybe not even a full day ... they do all the prep work in advance," he said. "Once they get it up on the dollies they can drive that thing like a car."
 
He added that once set, the contractor will work on the interior of the building during the winter.
 
Local pilot Michael Milazzo asked if there were funds to cover possible increased utilities and maintenance costs as well as insurance increases.
 
"Have we looked at what it will cost to maintain this new building at the airport or is this going to be on the taxpayers?" he asked. "I know if I were going to build a building I would want to know."
 
Administrative Assistant Michael Canales said the building would be covered under city insurance and see only a minor increase. He added that with leasable office space and a restaurant slated for the building, the city hopes to recoup these new costs.
 
He said a request for proposals for the restaurant space will go out midwinter and Enzien said the space will be left "unfinished."
 
"All of the utility services will be in the space and will be metered separately," he said. "It will be left open for whoever the restaurateur is. They will design the layout as they see fit."
 
The Airport Commission also voted on Tuesday to accept $90,000 in grant funds awarded by U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal announced the grant funds in July that will go toward mapping out future projects at the city's airport. Pittsfield Municipal Airport also received $315,000 to update its master plan.
 
"As soon as that grant offer is signed and sent back, we will have a grant in place and we can start the planning process," Enzien said.
 
The master plan needs to be continually updated if the airport wants to continue to receive grant funds. Enzien said the planning would start in early September.
 
"As we get closer we will schedule a kickoff meeting to get all of the players involved together," he said. 
 
In other business, Canales updated the commission on airport operations and said security cameras were installed. He said more are expected to be installed once the administrative building is up and running.
 

Clarification: The number 80 referred to responses and inquiries, not submitted bids. iBerkshires regrets the error.  


Tags: airport commission,   airport terminal,   harriman west,   

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North Adams' Helme Named Woman of Achievement


Helme last year receiving the PopCares Community Partner Award for her efforts on behalf of local nonprofits and other groups. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city's director of tourism has been named the 2019-20 Woman of Achievement by the Northern Berkshire Business and Professional Women's Club.
 
Suzy Helme began as the part-time events coordinator in 2015, later becoming the full-time director of tourism and community events. In her role, she organizes much of the city's annual events such as the Downtown Celebration and the concert series at Windsor Lake, as well as coordinating with organizations and institutions such as the Massachusetts  Museum of Contemporary Arts and local charities on affiliated activities within the city.
 
The club will make the award at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Bounti-Fare Restaurant
in Adams. Networking will begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6.
 
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