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The vacant Sullivan School has been the target of vandalism since its closure four years ago. The City Council is weighing proposal to sell it for use as a manufacturing training center.
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A patch on the floor in the cafeteria where a fire was started two years ago.
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Items left behind include photos and text books.
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North Adams Councilors Tour Sullivan School

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Michael Therrien explains to Councilors Paul Hopkins and Marie T. Harpin how the classroom spaces could be used. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The windows are boarded up, the floor tiles are popping and there's an odor of abandonment throughout the  51,000 square-feet school.
The Finance Committee took a tour of the building on Tuesday afternoon to get a better sense of the condition of the J. Stanley Sullivan Elementary School as the City Council has been weighing an offer on the property made more than two months ago.
The 55-year-old structure has been closed since the opening of Colegrove Park Elementary School in January 2016. Clarksburg School officials had also walked through the building several years ago in anticipation it could be used temporarily during a building project that was ultimately rejected. 
Sullivan has sat vacant since but not without activity: There have been numerous incidents of vandalism over the past four years. 
In 2017, two juveniles were arrested after setting a half-dozen fires in the building. They set fire to a pallet of ceiling tiles that while not readily flammable, covered the walls of the cafeteria in smoke and burned a large patch in the floor. 
"It keeps getting broken into," said Building Inspector William Meranti. "There are endless calls to the police in the middle of the night."
He pointed out missing windows at ground level that have been boarded up with plywood. As one was covered, the vandals would move onto the next. There were chunks of glass on the floor of one classroom, others had some spray paint but suprisingly not a lot of tagging. 
The school is still full of furniture, books, materials and scattered trash. The lobby is being used for storage. 
Michael Therrien sees potential in the building. The president of the newly formed Berkshire Advanced Manufacturing Training and Education Center assured the councilors in attendance — Committee members Marie T. Harpin and Wayne Wilkinson, along with President Paul Hopkins and Jason Laforest — that he was aware of the vacant school's condition and has walked through it twice. 
BAMTEC has offered the city $1 for the building and its 12 acres as is. It plans on investing upwards of a $11 million over the coming years to turn the four-story elementary school into a workforce training center and an hub for entrepreneurs, artists and established businesses. It's also considering it could be used for residences for students who travel to North Adams for training. 
The school classroom sizes and configuration can be easily modified, Therrien explained. Standing at the end of a series of classrooms, he said interior walls were modular and removable. 
"We took take them all out and have all this space," he said, pointing toward the far classroom. "Or we could divide the space smaller."
The City Council had balked at selling the building to BAMTEC, concerned that the new organization didn't have all its finances in a row. There was also some discussion over the price of $1 — when another established real estate developer had offered $50,000. 
Wilkinson had suggested the tour so that the Finance Committee could see the condition of the building. Bundled up in coats and using a couple flashlights, the group walked through building that's been without heat and electricity for years. 
Prior to that, former Historical Commissioner Alan Horbal joined the group to make officials aware that there might be a legal impediment to the sale of the school. Kemp Park, to the school's north, had been gifted to the city in 1882 by Sylvester Kemp for "sanitary purposes, pleasure and enjoyment" of the citizens and Horbal thought it could be linked to the school land. 
He said he could not find any covenant on this land, as had been found for Colegrove Park.
However, it's not clear if the school site had been connected to the park and it is currently listed as two separate plots on the assessors map, with the school dated from 1964. A 1963 article in the former North Adams Transcript reported that the park could not be transferred to the school department because of the terms of the 1882 deed and that this might affect the amount of recreational space for students at the proposed East School. In articles discussing where the school would be built, the location is referred to as "the wooded site" to the south of the park. 
The grammar school had been planned as a project in conjunction with a new high school that would go on land across the street between the Mohawk Trail and Kemp Avenue but the high school portion was dropped because of the construction of a housing project taking up too much acreage. At the time, the school department was expecting an enrollment of 3,334 children in the fall of 1963 — 363 of them kindergartners. 
Meranti thought the attorneys would have done their due diligence before the property was put up for sale. This was first done in 2017.
The committee did not discuss the property and it is not on the agenda for Wednesday's meeting at 6 p.m.

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What should you expect from your investments?

Submitted by Edward Jones

To help achieve your financial goals, you may need to invest in the financial markets throughout your life. However, at times your investment expectations may differ from actual returns, triggering a variety of emotions. So, what are reasonable expectations to have about your investments?

Ideally, you hope that your investment portfolio will eventually help you meet your goals, both your short-term ones, such as a cross-country vacation, and the long-term ones, such as a comfortable retirement. But your expectations may be affected by several factors, including the following:

  • Misunderstanding – Various factors in the economy and the financial markets trigger different reactions in different types of investments — so you should expect different results. When you own stocks, you can generally expect greater price volatility in the short term. Over time, though, the "up" and "down" years tend to average out. When you own bonds, you can expect less volatility than individual stocks, but that’s not to say that bond prices never change. Generally, when interest rates rise, you can anticipate that the value of your existing, lower-paying bonds may decrease, and when rates fall, the value of your bonds may increase.  
  • Recency bias – Investors exhibit "recency bias" when they place too much emphasis on recent events in the financial markets, expecting that those same events will happen again. But these expectations can lead to negative behavior. For example, in 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 6percent – so investors subject to recency bias might have concluded it was best to stay out of the markets for a while. But the Dow jumped more than 22percent the very next year. Of course, the reverse can also be true: In 2021, the Dow rose almost 19 percent , so investors who might have been susceptible to recency bias may have thought they were in for more big gains right away — but in 2022, the Dow fell almost 9percent . Here’s the bottom line: Recency bias may cloud your expectations about your investments’ performance — and it’s essentially impossible to predict accurately what will happen to the financial markets in any given year.
  • Anchoring – Another type of investment behavior is known as "anchoring" — an excessive reliance on your original conviction in an investment. So, for instance, if you bought stock in a company you thought had great prospects, you might want to keep your shares year after year, even after evidence emerges that the company has real risks — for example, poor management, or its products could become outdated, or it could be part of an industry that’s in decline. But if you stick with your initial belief that the company will inevitably do well, and you’re not open to new sources of information about this investment, your expectations may never be met.

In many areas of life, reality may differ from our expectations — and that can certainly be true for our investments. Being familiar with the factors that can shape your expectations can help you maintain a realistic outlook about your investments

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information go to

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