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Berkshire Kind has abandoned plans in the William Stanley Business Park and will set up operations at the former Starbase Technologies.

Berkshire Kind Has Plans for Former Starbase Technologies

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Kind has changed the location of its proposed facility and plans to be fully operational in less than one year.

Originally to be built in the William Stanley Business Park, the cannabis company now plans to convert the former Starbase Technologies at the corner of Peck's and Valentine Roads into a cultivation and manufacturing facility.

"The development at the William Stanley Business Park turned out to be a little more complex and costly than we expected it to be and the opportunity with Peck's Road provided a good opportunity," Co-owner Jeremy Silverman explained at a public hearing on Thursday.

"The building is already there, we didn't have to worry about the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] and [state Department of Environmental Protection] requirements, which became very cumbersome, and it's just an easier route to get to production and operation faster."

Developers on the former General Electric property have had to deal with the effects of past contamination.

The approximately 56,000-square-foot building on Peck's Road is set to contain a 6,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and a 25,000-square-foot cultivation facility with up to 10,000 square feet of canopy.

There will be envelope renovations to the roof and walls of the building as well as significant HVAC improvements for heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.

By the end of the year, the cannabis company plans to have its provisional license approved and begin construction on the facility, which is staged to be completed in May. Final cultivation and manufacturing licenses are planned to be received by June.

In July, the Community Development Board approved the company's application for the cultivation facility on Pecks Road and additional approval will be needed for the manufacturing.

Berkshire Kind, owned by Silverman and his brother Philip, aims to provide the highest quality of adult-use craft cannabis products. With the facility, the brothers wish to improve the safety of the neighborhood with security systems and lighting, hire up to 30 employees over the first two years of operations, provide cannabis education to employees and residents through seminars, and support local non-profits with an annual fundraiser.

Both brothers live in New York state and one has a home in South County. They have been working on the project for over two years.

"[Pittsfield'] had a good business atmosphere," Silverman said about the decision to open their facility in the city.  "They were very welcoming to cannabis businesses so it seemed like a good area for us to explore."

An abutter was the lone attendant of the hearing and emphasized the need for security on the building.

Silverman said input from the community has been positive.

"We had a community meeting a couple of months ago for the cultivation in this facility. We had two attendees and they were both very positive, they were just neighbors," he explained.

"[They] just kind of wanted to meet and see what it was but no, we haven't really had any negative comments or anything regarding putting a business there."

Tags: cannabis,   

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Pittsfield School Committee Votes Taconic All-Vocational

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In a historic move fueled by the growing demand for skilled tradespeople and the evolution of career technical education, the School Committee has decided that Taconic is a solely vocational school.

On Tuesday, the committee unanimously voted to start the school's transition to all vocational, only accepting Career Technical Education (CTE) students beginning in the fall. The motion was followed by a round of applause.

All new non-CTE students will attend Pittsfield High School and Taconic's remaining non-CTE students in Grades 10-12 will graduate as usual. The class of 2027 will be the first all-technical class to graduate.

This has been on the horizon since the new, $120 million facility debuted in 2018.  With high interest in Taconic's vocational programs and CTE admissions outnumbering the latter, administrators see this as a way to best serve students.  

Taconic Principal Matthew Bishop truly believes that both high schools present amazing opportunities in Pittsfield. As a former principal of PHS, he said both hold a special place in his life, career, and heart.

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