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The Airport Commission is updated on the relocation of the former medical building to become the new administrative building at Harriman & West Airport.

North Adams Airport Building to Be Moved This Week

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The new administrative building is slated to be moved Thursday morning.
 
Peter Enzien of Stantec Consulting Services, the airport's engineer, told the Airport Commission on Tuesday that the long-awaited building move should start Thursday morning between 8:30 and 9:00.
 
"There are some things that have to happen in the morning prior to the move but then they will be ready," he said.
 
The city plans to move the vacant medical building on the north side of the Harriman & West Airport campus about 150 yards and use it as a new administrative building. The 8,700-square-foot facility was constructed in 2001 on leased airport land and was donated to the city by Berkshire Health Systems. Once moved, the shell will be renovated to include office and classroom space, public restrooms, and a food service operation. 
 
"This is an exciting step forward for a project that has been in the works for several years," Mayor Thomas Bernard said in a statement released earlier in the day announcing the move, adding in his thanks to BHS for donating the building.
 
In the same statement, commission Chairman Jeffrey Naughton said, the restaurant in the terminal means residents, pilots and others "can look forward to enjoying dinner while looking out over the runway at the spectacular views of Mounts Prospect and Williams."
 
DA Sullivan & Sons contractors have been gutting the structure and installed a foundation at the new location. 
 
Enzien said this work is largely complete.
 
"As you know it is well under construction, and the foundation work has been completed," he said. "The utilities have all been installed ... essentially everything around the parameter is complete."
 
He said the start time really hinges on National Grid, which will have personnel on site at 8 a.m.  He said they have to turn off the power before the move and feed in some new lines.
 
"The key to the whole thing is National Grid," he said.
 
Enzien said it will take between 15 to 20 minutes to clear the wires and hours for Wolfe Movers is move the building.
 
During public comment, Trevor Gilman, former commissioner, asked the commission to solicit the Federal Aviation Administration to design a new departure procedure for the airport.
 
"Right now the published departure in North Adams is a circling climb until you are clear of the mountains, which is pretty much impossible to do in the clouds ... it is completely unsafe," Gilman said. "There are safe ways to depart the area and to stay clear of terrain but it needs to be in a published procedure so people can legally fly it."
 
Commissioners thought it was a good idea and said they would figure out how to start the process.
 
In other business the commission reorganized. Jeff Naughton will continue to serve as chairman and Shaun Dougherty will serve as vice chairman.

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North Adams Fire Chief Meranti to Retire

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Fire Chief Stephen Meranti, center, with the late Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco on receiving the MEMA award in 2015. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Stephen Meranti had a particular goal in mind when he updated his resume in the mid-1990s: to become director of the city's fire services.
 
Early next year, he'll retire after 17 years leading the North Adams Fire Department and as the first "fire chief" to retire in nearly 40 years. 
 
"I've had a pretty good run I think, 33 years with the city and 17 as chief," said Meranti on Wednesday morning, as he sat in the mayor's office. "It's been a good run, we have great people working with the city, I've had made great relationships here. It's like the mayor said, bittersweet for me also. I love the job I but I had planned on my career retiring at 55 and here I am." 
 
Meranti and Mayor Thomas Bernard announced the chief's retirement after more than three decades working with the city. His last day will be Jan. 26, 2021.
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