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Town Administrator Jay Green signs the paperwork on Wednesday to make Souliere & Zepka Construction of Adams the contractor for the Greylock Glen Outdoor Center.
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Greylock Glen Gets Additional $2.8M in Funding for Outdoor Center

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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State Rep. John Barrett III says things will 'really start to happen' once the outdoor center is completed.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration will be providing the town of Adams an additional $2.8 million in funding for the Greylock Glen Outdoor Center. 


"With these additional funds, the town of Adams will be able to finally realize our dream," said Board of Selectmen Chair John Duval. 


Duval and other Adams officials announced the new funding Wednesday morning while officially signing Adams-based Souliere & Zepka Construction as the contractor. Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito could not attend, but state Rep. John Barrett III, state Sen. Adam Hinds (participating virtually) and Benjamin Lamb, director of economic development at 1Berkshire, were at Town Hall


The state already committed $6.5 million in funding to the project in May last year. Duval said the Baker-Polito administration agreed to help if more funding was needed, which he said became necessary once the bidding process was conducted. 


"The governor indicated that if the $6.5 million turned out to be insufficient, the state would work with the town to overcome that problem," he said. "The town did issue the invitation for construction bids last September, and we were pleased to receive five qualified bids. However, all bids received confirmed our fears regarding escalating construction costs." 


Town Administrator Jay Green said the outdoor center is finally ready to begin construction with this new funding. While he did not want to put a specific date on it, Green said construction should start once the weather improves in the spring. 


"I think it's important for everybody to know that the next step after today is doing that," he said. "Working with our general contractor and getting that shovel in the ground." 


Barrett, of North Adams, said there has always been hope the Greylock Glen would elevate the standing of Adams and the Northern Berkshires as a whole. He said he worked closely with Baker to get the project funding and thanked him for his help. 


"You watch what will happen over the next several years because of this project," he said. "Not only in this community and in Northern Berkshire but throughout the Berkshire County area. We're going to see things really start to happen." 


Barrett said he is excited to see what happens with the project as it nears completion. He said he looks forward to visiting Adams with Baker and Polito when construction begins. 


"I'm so happy and I hopefully will be able to continue to help with it for a couple more years and in getting it to fruition," he said. "And we have a big celebration; hopefully we can get that groundbreaking ceremony going out there on the mountain when it's a little warmer." 


He urged the residents of Adams to be ready for the future. He said the outdoor center is a critical opportunity for everyone in the community. 


"Demand the best for your community, don't set the standards low," he said. "Set them high and never sell yourself cheap and what you want to achieve here. Because you want this community to be the best that it can possibly be and I see that happening if you plan well for it." 


Hinds, who attended the meeting virtually while at the ribbon cutting for Wahconah Regional High School, applauded the town's persistence at getting funding for the project. He said the outdoor center should be an economic boon to the community once complete. 


"As we're moving through literally billions of dollars in federal funds and state surpluses, we have to make sure we're making strategic investments in our region that will change our economics for generations to come. And this is one of those projects," he said. "I am so grateful to all of you standing there who have been so centrally involved right from the start and making sure that this continues to move forward. And that when there are needs for additional funding, you don't give up." 


The town was named developer of the 54-acre parcel, part of the Mount Greylock State Reservation, in 2006. The hope was the community could get things moving on developing the site after decades of failed projects. The project has moved forward, in fits and starts, since then with the outdoor center being a critical step after years of preparation.


Adams officials announce $2.8 million more in funding for the project Wednesday morning. Selectmen Chair John Duval says governor had agreed to help if more funding was needed.

Hinds said the outdoor center has value to the state beyond just Berkshire County and should serve as a significant destination for those visiting the state. 


"This project matters for Adams, for the region and really, beyond the Berkshires," he said. "It's how we, very deliberately, are creating an investment in our outdoor recreation so that people choose to live and work here and visit. We were just going through the fact that tourism remains the third largest industry in the Commonwealth. And investing in our outdoor recreation is a key part of making sure that people are visiting our region and spending money and choosing to live here." 


Lamb said recreation is becoming one of the region's crucial economic clusters because of projects like the outdoor center. He said 1Berkshire has been supporting the project since before he was there. 


"From our perspective, how we look at these projects is how they sort of weave together a network of opportunities," he said. "And here in Adams, you have this incredible asset and now you actually have the mechanism to move it forward and capitalize on and really turn this into something that is a true economic driver for the region." 


Selectman Joseph Nowak said the funding is the culmination of something the community has been working on for a long time. He thanked Donna Cesan, the town's special projects coordinator, saying the project would not have been possible without her work. 


"I think you and I have been to about every glen meeting since it had started," he said. 


Green said countless people were responsible for getting the project funded and to the point of beginning construction. 


"We would be here for probably about another hour if we went through step by step exactly how we got to this day," he said. "But it wasn't alone. It's not one person. It's a team effort." 


Nowak said he was initially against the glen project but changed his mind as things progressed over the years. He said maintaining the environmental integrity of the area is of immense importance. 


"I think the hard work is just about to begin for us with this project," he said. "It's a sacred area; it's a landmark area. It's an environmentally sensitive area. So what we are going to need to do is to sit down, as a community, and hash out how we're going to make this environmentally sound and something that doesn't overburden an area. And this will be, I believe, a difficult task to balance this, but I think it can be done." 


Green said it was important to note that, from his perspective, the town put as much effort possible into getting the project to the point it is at now. 


"I think it's important for the public to know that at no point along this way, did the town, our elected delegation, decide to put something less than what had been envisioned or something less than what the public had demanded, and frankly, Adams deserved over all these past years," he said. "So what you see behind us today will be built. And we're proud to have a local company do that."

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Sarah Cohen LMT Hopes to Bring Wellness to North County

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Sarah Cohen says she hadn't thought about massage therapy as a career but her entrance into the profession was 'divinely timed.'
ADAMS, Mass. — Licensed massage Therapist Sarah Cohen hopes to bring North County residents along on her own spiritual journey.
"I think it's not only massage therapy; it never was only massage therapy," Cohen said. "It was that, with all of the other stuff I've been learning in between. The foundation that helped me start to grow."
Cohen opened at 122 Columbia St. in January. She said massage therapy was never really something she thought about and felt her turn toward a new career was somewhat random.
"I think I saw a billboard for massage therapy. I went to an interview, I talked with the school, and it really just worked out perfectly," she said. "It was never really something I was thinking about, but once I got into it, I thought how was I not thinking about this? It was very divinely timed."
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