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An illustration of the proposed HVAC building drawn up by McCann students.

McCann Moves Forward With Designer for New HVAC Building

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann School Committee has hired Bradley Architects of Pittsfield to draw up the plans for a 5,600 square foot building that will house the new heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration program. 
The committee last week approved the bid of $241,880.
The vocational school is the recipient of a $3.1 million state Skills Capital Grant to provide training HVAC. This will cover the construction of the building and the development of the program. 
The recommendation was made by the facilities subcommittee, which reviewed three bid submissions. Subcommittee Chair Richard "Bucky" Bernardi said one bid was dismissed for not providing everything that was required. 
"The other two firms, Hill Engineering and Bradley, are very close in dollars but Bradley far exceeded Hill in the timing that we were looking for," he said, referring to the timeframe from design to construction. 
Subcommittee member David Westall, an architect, in response to questions, said the third company was not considered seriously. 
"So there was a huge difference in the quality of their performance. Bradley and Hill were extremely good, extremely close," he said. "I think, and the other facility subcommittee members would agree, that the schedule and timeline for Bradley doing their work to get to the point of beginning of construction versus Hill's was a huge, like three months difference."
"As long as they can do it," said Bernardi. "Only time will tell."
The structure will be completely separate from the school and be located on the northwest side of the campus, taking up part of the parking lot near the automotive shops. 
Because of the loss of 27 parking spots on the west side, the school is reconfiguring the east side parking lot to accommodate 57 more spots. Hill Engineers is designing the new parking lot and Superintendent James Brosnan said he and Principal Justin Kratz had done a walkthrough. 
"It's going back for a couple little tweaks here and there little changes," he said. "It was a great plan and it increases to approximately 57 parking spaces. So what we're going to lose with the building of the new HVAC building here, we will have to replace here."
Brosnan anticipated the design to be completed for requests for proposals to go out in March.
"We can't do anything until school's done," he said. "But we want to get ahead of anybody else."
In other business, the committee approved the replacement of two dentist chairs for the dental hygeine program at a total cost of $31,624, using funds from an existing account. The matching chairs, from Henry Schein Dental, will be installed by the company but Brosnan said it will off an opportunity to change out or upgrade the water, electrical and air connections. 
The committee heard about the designs drawn up by students in the computer assisted drawing program for the proposed restaurant at the Harriman & West Airport building. The designs were presented to Mayor Jennifer Macksey. 
Brosnan said he anticipated firmer Chapter 70 state education aid number by the beginning of March. 
"I've got a plan, I've got a budget ready to go when we see what the funds are," he said. "We're still in a good place to move expeditiously."

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First Congregational 'Share The Love' Campaign Increases Donations

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — First Congregational Church's "Share the Love" campaign raised $5,550 that was donated to local food pantries and community services.
"Every little bit helps," Rich Wilson of the Berkshire Food Project said. "For the community to come together like this and think of us is a great thing."
Through the month of February, the congregation collected donations from the Northern Berkshire community. For every $100 received, the congregation donated $25. 
All proceeds were split evenly among the three recipient organizations: the Berkshire Food Project, Louison House, and the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry. 
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