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Third-generation roofer Jason Smegal started his business 12 years ago.
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Lenox Roofer Covers Community That Helped Build His Business

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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LENOX, Mass. — Third-generation roofer Jason Smegal has been building a reputation on providing quality services to the community with his business Klaus Roofing Systems by J Smegal. 
The company offers roof replacements, repairs and gutter services to protect buildings and the valuables inside from future damage. 
Since starting the company in 2011 at the age of 25, Smegal has grown to employ 40 workers. Last year, the company completed approximately 1,200 jobs.
Smegal started working summers with his father, Paul, at the age of 12 and continued working at Paul Smegal Roofing after graduating high school. 
Although leaving his father's business was not ideal, he wanted to make it on his own and not have to rely on somebody else. After seeing how his business has grown, his father was happy with the decision, Smegal said.
Roofing is not the easiest task but it builds a hard work ethic and seeing the finished product is where he gets his drive, he said. 
And in a small community like the Berkshires, word travels fast, he said, so if a job is not done correctly it catches up with you.
In Smegal's case, this worked in his favor. His desire to focus on doing the job right and having good communication with his customers, he said, has spread through the community, bringing more clients to his door. 
"They say, statistically, the average roofing company only lasts about four years. So you can make it out of that and you're pretty good," Smegal said. "I kind of just focused on doing it the right way. And making sure it was done correctly. If something was wrong, which can happen from time to time, we would go back and make it right."
He works with Klaus Roofing Systems and says it uses highly rated materials that can create lasting results including Gutter Shutter Systems, Gutter Guard, PolyGlass, and IKO, among others. 
The community has been a major propellent in his success, which is why he attempts to give back through roof giveaways and donations to local organizations, including the Taconic High alpine ski team and St. Mary's School in Lee, among others. 
"We didn't obviously get to where we are without the community's help. Without them helping us we wouldn't be able to be where we are. So returning the favors is realistic," he said. 
Last year, Smegal started a roofing giveaway and was able provide a new roof to a woman who worked for the Lenox School District.
"We put a new roof on her house last year, and she was just very grateful and we were happy that we were able to make an impact. Roofing is obviously very expensive and it's understandable that most can't afford it," he said.
"She helps everyone out so much in the community so to be able to help her back was a nice reward for us." 
Last year's success encouraged him to do the giveaway again this year. Although it can be tricky to pick one winner from all the nominations the company receives, a Lanesborough resident was chosen this year, Smegal said. Work will begin in the springtime when it warms up a little bit more. 
Smegal hopes that the work that he does brings integrity to his name so that there is something left behind for his children in whatever career they choose. When he is retired and his kids are out, he wants them to hear stories about the quality of service he provided and the good that he did.
More information on the business here

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Construction Grant Changes No Longer Align with Berkshire Atheneum's Goals

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass — The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has adjusted this round of its construction grant program, no longer aligning with the Berkshire Athenaeum's goals. 
This grant round is really no longer a renovation program, library Director Alex Reczkowski said during a trustees meeting last week.
Interested applicants need at least two locations that they would be interested in pursuing as possible libraries or locations, not just the current library, he said. Acceptance of the award is once every 30 years. 
Although the library has some physical upgrades to the building in its strategic plan, it does not have enough data for a bigger project than that, Reczkowski said. 
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