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This is the second year Adams is doing a Home Decorating Contest after several years of inactivity. Last year's winners were 97 North Summer St., 4 Country Club Ext. and 147 Friend St.

Adams to Hold Second Holiday Home Decorating Contest

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — As part of its festivities to celebrate the holiday season, Adams is hosting the Holiday Home Decorating Contest and is accepting submissions until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.

The contest allows Adams residents and other community members to vote on the best-decorated house in town. Those who want to enter their home for submission can apply for free on the town website, and voting will be available online between Dec. 10 and 11.

"We create a map that shows all the houses that want to participate, and we put out the map to everybody on the town website, and it'll go on Facebook," said Town Clerk Haley Meczywor.

The top three submissions will receive gift cards to Adams Hometown Market as a prize. The first prize will be a $75 gift card, the second prize will be a $50 gift card and the third prize will be a $25 gift card.

Meczywor said participants should turn on all their lights from 5 to 8 p.m. on the voting days, giving voters the chance to drive by and look at the decorations. She said they only judge the exterior of the entrant's houses.

Adams did the Holiday Home Decorating Contest last year, after not doing it for several years, as a COVID-safe event for the holidays, according to Meczywor. She said last year's contest had 49 home entrants and 366 voters.

"We tried to get more community participation," she said. "It gave everybody something to do because of COVID, you know? Get in your car, drive safely, drive around and look at all the houses."

Meczywor said the contest also allows residents to visit parts of town they haven't been to before.

"Some people were like, 'Oh, I didn't even know that street was there,' Some of them are off the beaten path," she said. "You drive down Park Street, or Howland Avenue, or Commercial Street, but you don't necessarily go to all the side streets."

Those interested in learning more about the contest can call town hall at 413-743-8300, Ext. 176 or 177.

"Drive safely. That is all I ask," Meczywor said. "As they're going around and looking, you have to be a little mindful of that. Some of our streets are a little narrow."

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Adams Dissolves Memorial Building Subcommittee; Renovations Near Completion

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — As renovations to the former Memorial School Building wrap up, the Board of Selectmen has decided to dissolve the subcommittee that worked toward reuse of the former middle school. 


"So over the many years after the board appointed this subcommittee, I believe it is time to put an end to this subcommittee," said Selectmen Chairman John Duval. 


The board voted to dissolve the subcommittee on Wednesday as the building moves toward a tentative re-opening for public use in the spring. Eight years after its formation, Duval said the subcommittee has finally completed the goal it set out to achieve. 


Once renovations are complete, the facility will become the center of operations for the Adams Council on Aging and several spaces will be opened for public use. Additionally, the Selectmen chose developer Wayland North late last year to develop parts of the facility into commercial and residential space.  


The Public Works and Facilities Subcommittee has taken the responsibility of determining the usage and policy surrounding public use of the building, which was  discussed at its meeting on Jan. 13. At that meeting, Town Administrator Jay Green said May is the target for re-opening but the exact time will depend on several factors, including moving and completing other aspects of the facility like bathrooms. 


"If we can get more work done first before anybody goes in there, I think, logistically, that's the better solution," he said. "But we're very early in those stages."


The fee structure and other usage guidelines for the building are still to be determined. Green said the gymnasium is nearly ready for use, barring the installation of covers for thermostats and wall fixtures. 


"Right now, that is the one primary thing that is keeping us from being able to really allow use of that gymnasium," he said. "They're on order. They're being paid attention to as soon as we can get those in and get those secured. The risk of damage to those and against substantial cost in money, I think is too much." 


Green said even when cover installs are complete, he thinks it would be best to not open the facility for public use until the weather is better. He said facilities staff needs time to adjust to maintaining the building, which would be hard when they have other town buildings to manage. 


"They haven't been going over to memorial at all during inclement weather because the building is not open to the public," he said. "So if we were to open that building, let's say those cages come in tomorrow and we put those up, I would still not necessarily recommend that we do that." 


Additionally, Green said the town has to complete the work necessary to secure parts of the building from public access. He said this is necessary to prevent those using the building from entering the private development spaces. 


"We have a developer who is negotiating with the town to develop it," he said. "And we want to make sure that we have the ability to keep anyone who is using the building out of those spaces. So that's ongoing, almost complete." 


The auditorium, Green said, is one area of the building that is not currently ready for public use. He said the use of the auditorium is pending an update on its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. 


"The auditorium does not have HVAC," he said. "It is not air-conditioned, it is not heated because the original heating plant for the building has been decommissioned. So that is a future capital project for the town to come up with a plan to provide the same air conditioning heat that the lobby, gymnasium and Council on Aging function spaces have." 


Green said coming up with use guidelines and a schedule for the building will be a significant priority once it is opened for public use again. He said the town needs to work with the COA and others using the building to keep the facility organized and ready for whoever needs to use it. 


"If they know the building is going to be used that evening for basketball practice or something, they're going to have to clean their stuff up," he said. "So it'll just require some day-to-day management."

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