image description
The union carpenters donated a days worth of labor to build the dugouts.
image description
image description
image description
image description

Volunteers Build Dugouts At Taconic High School

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

At one point there were some 75 union carpenters working on the new school.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Most of those who worked on the new Taconic High School live in the area. They coach youth sports or they're volunteer firemen in their communities.
 
As the final pieces come together - with the school passing its final inspection on Friday - those workers turned their attention to the baseball field — even if they weren't getting paid for it.
 
The school project didn't include any work on the baseball field. But a volunteer effort from those who worked on the new school got the work done anyway.
 
On Saturday, two dozen union carpenters were on site volunteering their time to build dugouts.
 
"It is about giving back. The community uses a union contract, uses union labor, they get paid a fair, living wage. We want to give back. We want to work in the community and be part of the community," New England Regional Council of Carpenters Business Representative Timothy Craw said.
 
"Most of these guys and girls are sports coaches, we have a couple volunteer teachers."
 
Maxymillian had the contract for the excavation for the new school. Two weeks ago, they had volunteers on site doing drainage work to improve the baseball field and carved out the land for the dugouts. David Tierney had the school's concrete contract and he followed up, again on volunteer time, to pour the dugout's foundation. Skanska USA and Gilbane Construction had the contracts to manage the project and they donated the materials. LP Adams donated lumber for the project.
 
"This all started with a group of people, Jim Abel, the athletic director, and Anthony DiMartino. They got together a group to see what they could do," said James Moran, who is overseeing the Taconic Project for Skanska. 
 
"They desperately needed dugouts and now they've got them."
 
Gilbane and Skanska coordinated the efforts, reaching out to the various companies seeing if they'd help. The union had 24 people on site Saturday morning and planned to have the dugouts complete by the end of the day.
 
For the carpenters, this type of work is what they regularly do. Craw said they have a volunteer board which works with communities throughout the region on such efforts.
 
"These are all Berkshire County union carpenters. We've done ramps. We've done dugouts before. We've done house builds in Western Mass. Throughout New England, it is everything. It really depends on the needs of the community," Craw said.
 
The dugout project had been in talks for a while but the focus was on finishing the school. The students return on Wednesday. Moran said just about everything is ready to go - though the electrical shop won't be opening right away and the auditorium will be closed for two weeks of acoustic testing. But otherwise, the school will be ready to go and the construction is currently "on budget."
 
Demolition on the old school has begun. Moran said the school is expected to be down by the end of the year.
 
The project wasn't just a good one to provide work for the carpenters but the school's vocational programs will train future carpenters. Craw said he is already working with the school to find at least 10 apprentices at the end of the school year. 
2 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Letter: Coronavirus Tests Only for Those in the 'Big Club'

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

George Carlin once joked, "It's a big club and you ain't in it." The rich and powerful have access to things that you and I do not. A few years ago, I saw an advertisements on television about the shingles shot. The ad recommended that if you were over a certain age, that you were at risk and that you should get the shot. I went to my health-care provider who said because I had not reached the age of 60, I could not get it. I got shingles within a year.

Now you have to be in that big club that you ain't in to get a coronavirus test. Ordinary folks like you or me cannot get tested. But if we were NBA basketball players, movie stars, royalty, or a politician we get to cut to the head of the line. You don't even have to show symptoms. The entire Utah Jazz team was tested and most didn't have symptoms.

Of course, when those that are connected want a test, they get it. U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley recently announced that she tested negative for coronavirus after experiencing flu-like symptoms — that's all it took to get a test, flu-like symptoms. There were many others in Congress that got the test after allegedly being exposed to someone who had it, but who exhibited few if any the symptoms themselves: Lindsey Graham, Matt Gaetz, John Yarmuth, Mitt Romney, Katie Porter, Vicente Gonzalez, Lizzie Fletcher.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories