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State and local officials dig in a ceremonial groundbreaking of the $7.3 million Greylock Glen Outdoor Center this summer.

Adams 2022 Year in Review

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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Neal was given a tour of the Outdoor Center site on Wednesday, as he announced a $1 million earmark for the building.

ADAMS, Mass. — In 2022, Adams received millions of dollars in aid from local, state and federal sources, funding that will benefit both private and municipal investments in town. 


Several of these projects have been ongoing or ready to begin for several years. Many of them will be complete or have made significant progress by the end of the new year. 


Greylock Glen


Both Governor Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep Richard Neal visited the site of the Greylock Glen Outdoor Center this year, which broke ground in August


"For us to have a chance to come out and celebrate this project, given how long people have worked on this and how important it is, to this part of Massachusetts, was important to us," Baker said before an audience of more than 100 local officials and residents when he visited the site in August. 


In January, the Baker administration provided an additional $2.8 million to the $6.5 million in funding when bids for the center came in too high. The state has committed $7.3 million to the center's construction. 


The project also received a $1 million earmark from the federal omnibus spending bill in March. In May, the project got another $2.9 million for water infrastructure


When complete, the 9,200 square-foot outdoor center will feature exhibit space, classrooms and a restaurant. 


Also, approved this year was the campsite at the Glen, which, when complete, will create 35 cabins, 19 mirror houses, nine Airstreams and nine regular camping sites. There are also several planned trail improvements throughout the glen


Howland Avenue


Howland Avenue, the condition of which residents had complained about for many years, was resurfaced at the end of 2022. The resurfacing was entirely paid for by the state and came at no cost to the town. 


The entire road, from the Adams-North Adams town line to the rotary, was milled and resurfaced by the state Department of Transportation in October and November. The resurfacing, however, is just the start, as the town plans to redesign the roadway entirely, converting it into two lanes. 


Adams officials held an open house for the redesign in March. The project would revamp the road from Lime Street to the Adams-North Adams line, and the town hopes construction would begin sometime in 2028.


Town Meetings


Two town meetings happened this year, held for the first time in the former Memorial School building. Early in the year, the Board of Selectmen dissolved the subcommittee that worked toward the reuse of the former middle school as renovations had mostly been completed.


The annual town meeting in June approved the sale of the former community center, which CMV Construction Services will soon convert into a housing complex and day-care center. CMV expects the estimated $1 million first phase of construction to be complete by 2023. 


The Nov. 15 special town meeting approved an additional $2.37 million in funding for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. Town meeting gave the OK to just more than $5 million for the plant in 2021, but additional funding was needed, as the lowest bid came above this amount. 


The Adams Fire District also held two meetings in 2022. The annual meeting, held in May, rejected bylaw amendments to the fire protection and street lighting fees. 


The changes resulted from a class-action lawsuit last year against the district, a settlement for which the district's prudential committee signed in October. A second meeting was held in June and approved the bylaw changes. 


Adams Theater


Adams Theater, which has been in the process of renovations, received an $800,000 grant from the state's Underutilized Properties Program. This money came to the theater from a fundraising effort, culminating in a benefit concert by piano group Two Piano Journey on Nov. 11. 


The fundraiser, which was to support design, development, engineering, marketing, programming, legal, insurance, and utility expenses for the theater in 2023, eventually surpassed its $80,000 goal. 


Adams Theater Founder Yina Moore also opened the Adams Incubator with the help of 1Berkshire, funded by a one-time pop-up grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. 


Election 2022


The former Memorial School Building was also the site of this year's elections, instead of the Department of Public Works garage as in previous years. During the town elections in May, residents voted incumbents Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard back onto the Board of Selectmen. 


Nowak received 335 votes, while Blanchard received 287. The highest vote-getter on the ballot was Library Trustee Virginia Duval, who received 341 votes.


All candidates on the ballot, whether incumbents or newcomers, were running unopposed in this year's election.


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Adams Firefighters Douse Blaze in Former Dance Studio

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Firefighters check out the first story of the studio and exterior access to the second floor. 
ADAMS, Mass. — The former Berkshire Dance Theater went up in flames on Wednesday afternoon. 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said he had some idea of where the fire started but did not wish to speculate until the state fire marshal could confirm the cause. 
The blaze was contained fairly swiftly but there were a number of hotspots firefighters were still dealing with an hour later.
Firefighters were alerted to heavy smoke coming from the roof of the building shortly before 5 p.m. The second floor of the long-vacant structure was fully involved, according to images posted to iBerkshires' Facebook page. 
"The first couple of guys got here they pulled a line out. The first few guys that were here really worked their tails off," said Pansecchi, adding he was surprised how short staffed they were at first because of the holiday. 
Cheshire and North Adams sent help and Savoy came down to cover the station. Northern Berkshire EMS provided rehab. 
Firefighters were working in difficult conditions — hot muggy weather in the 90s and a torrential rainstorm that turned Commercial Street into a river right after the call came in. 
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