image description
The reconstruction of the 1919 Wahconah Park took its next step with the selection of a designer.

Wahconah Park Committee Recommends Designer

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The reimagining of historic Wahconah Park is one step closer with a designer being put forth to the city. 

The park's restoration committee on Wednesday recommended S3 Design Inc. for the job after the firm scored highest against two competitors.

The recommendation will go to Mayor Linda Tyer and then to the Parks Commission, who will communicate the vote back to the purchasing agent so that they can ask for a scope and price proposal.

The Braintree company proposed a workshop-based process to assist the owner's project manager Skanska USA, the committee, and the city with the project. It includes a feasibility study with four phases of workshops, a schematic design, bidding and the award, and the construction administration.

Last week, a subcommittee interviewed three firms and was most impressed with S3 Design's presentation, though all were seen as good contenders.

"All of them brought substantial experience, they brought multiple team members with extensive experience and proposal plans for floodwater management as well as stadium design and alternate uses, different revenue streams, different park plans and amenities that they have done. They showed projects that were at least of similar scope and size to this," member Anthony DeMartino explained.

"Each of these two did have a plan and articulated a pretty good plan in regards to a building consensus and from the public, listening to public input and, listening to stakeholder input, and being sensitive to the city's situation not just financially but just in the scope of the project,"

"The S3 group did that significantly better."

DeMartino liked that the firm wanted to meet immediate and future needs and its plan to evaluate the importance of all design aspects.

Based on other niche projects that S3 Design has worked on, the ballpark cost is about $10 million to $15 million.

Reportedly most of the firms speculated that rebuilding the facility may be cheaper than renovating but would rely on the feasibility study to determine that.

The city has secured about $5 million for the endeavor so far.

"Currently there's a $2 million capital appropriation from the past fiscal year and the City Council just authorized the acceptance of a $3 million earmark grant," Parks, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath.

"So there's $5 million available right now. We're spending some of that down for expenses associated with the OPM Skanska and of course, we will negotiate a contract with the selected designer and will begin incurring costs there."

The OPM The team anticipates the design being complete by February or March of next year and bidding and work by August of 2024 after the Pittsfield Sun's season. This would result in a new ballpark that is open for use by the summer of 2025.

Four proposals were received in response to an RFP and three including S3 were accepted for interviews: Bargmann Hendrie and Archetype Inc. and Clough, Harbour & Associates.

The panel queried the firms on the costs, options to generate additional revenue at the park, seating, future appearance, flooding issues, and the schedule.  

The recommendation to the mayor was ranked in priority with S3 Design first, CHA second, and BH&A third.

McGrath said a single-topic Parks Commission meeting may be called to endorse the recommendation after it comes back from the mayor so that a contract can be underway.

"We are already a couple of weeks behind schedule and time is of the essence with this," he said. "So we want to proceed swiftly and efficiently but responsibly."

Wahconah Park Design Proposal by

Tags: Wahconah Park,   

If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at

Pittsfield to Unveil Plaque for Buddy Pellerin Ballfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A commemorative plaque will officially designate the Clapp Park ballfield for former coach George "Buddy" Pellerin.

The name change was approved about seven years ago after Pellerin passed away at the age of 77. The plaque's set be unveiled at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.

"Chairman [Cliff] Nilan has been involved with this effort to site a permanent plaque at the Buddy Pellerin Field which is of course the main baseball field and Clapp Park where Buddy Pellerin coached and played for many, many years," Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath explained to the Parks Commission on Monday.

"And this is a permanent recognition of his contribution to the city."

The plaque, currently covered up, is just behind home plate on the backstop behind the walking track.  It was pointed out that the public is welcome to join the unveiling to remember a "literal Pittsfield giant."

Pellerin was head coach of the Pittsfield High baseball team for 19 years, leading the team to the state title in 1966 and taking the team to the 1974 title game. He also served as athletic director and head softball coach during his time at PHS.
He handed over the reins of the baseball team in 1982 but remained active in the sport. He went on to coach softball at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the former St. Joseph's High as well as the city's Babe Ruth League all-star team. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988.
The park has seen major improvements after the city partnered with the Rotary Club and the Buddy Pellerin Field Committee on a state grant.

During the meeting, it was also reported that the Berkshire County Historical Society has been working with the city to plant a commemorative elm tree in Park Square. It will replace the iconic one that was planted in the 1990s to emulate an elm that was admired by Pittsfield residents in the city's early days.

There will be a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 p.m. The event will fall on Nation Plant a Tree Day.

"This year we have been working with [McGrath] to plan a special planting of an elm to commemorate the elm that was obviously very famous here in Pittsfield and was chopped down but was first saved by Lucretia Williams," Executive Director Lesley Herzberg explained.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories