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The North East Hangar project has been funded since 2022 but post-pandemic delays have significantly pushed out the completion date.

North Adams Airport Hangar Still Unfinished

Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Without electricity, the newly renovated North East hangar remains incomplete, although airport engineers hope to bring service to the city hangar in the coming months.
 
"We are kind of at a standstill, and we have been at a standstill probably two months now," Stantec Engineer Peter Enzien told the commission Tuesday.
 
Enzien, who is the airport's contracted engineer, said the city is waiting on National Grid to complete a redesign of the new service entrance to the building. Initial designs were too similar to original designs that were deemed unsatisfactory. 
 
National Grid had planned to pull power from an existing transformer some 70 feet away from the hangar, but it was agreed that said transformer was too old to handle the extra load. Also, there were questions about the utility pole which held the transformer. The pole would need to be replaced, however the city did not budget for this expense.
 
"It was a lot more than we were carrying in the cost of the project just to bring new service to the hangar," Enzien said.
 
A new design will draw power from a more appropriate source in the airport. A midspan pole will have to be installed to support the line.
 
In 2022, the commissioners voted to go forward with the renovation of the derelict hangar, purchased by the city. The project would tap a mix of state, federal, and local funds.
 
The project has been delayed a few times due to post-pandemic supply shortages, long shipping waits and price increases.
 
As it stands, Enzien said the hangar is essentially complete but electricity is needed to truly close the project out.
 
"When we have electricity we will be able to test the door and make adjustments. There are a few punch list items they need to finish up," he said. "That essentially will be the end of the project. We are about 90 percent done."
 
But this final step will still take time. National Grid must issue a service agreement that has to be accepted by the city. Then it is handed off to the contractor for implementation. 
 
The most recent completion date was this summer, but Enzien was hesitant to throw out a new date without having the agreement in hand. 
 
Enzien also discussed some possible remedies for reported low flying aircraft.
 
In the fall of 2023, some residents east of the airport aired their concerns about an uptick in planes flying uncomfortably close to their homes.
 
At the meeting, Enzien told residents that in reality the planes landing on runway 29 were landing properly now that some trees had been cut down. The trees impeded the correct landing and approach and now, planes are landing a little bit lower.
 
The commission asked Airport Manager Bruce Goff to post on various pilot forums about the approach so pilots know to take care when landing.
 
On Tuesday, Enzien ruled out the installation of a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) system. 
 
A PAPI is a system of lights on the side of a runway threshold that provides visual descent guidance information during an aircraft's final approach.
 
He said after an analysis it was found that with mountains and terrain, there are too many obstacles in place for the PAPI to be effective.
 
He said the installation of a beacon could potentially be helpful but this is something the FAA would need to approve.
 
Goff did note that the posts he has made are still circulating and will continue to do so.
 

Tags: airport,   airport commission,   airport project,   

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BAAMS' Monthly Studio 9 Series Features Mino Cinelu

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On April 20, Berkshires' Academy of Advanced Musical Studies (BAAMS) will host its fourth in a series of live music concerts at Studio 9.
 
Saturday's performance will feature drummer, guitarist, keyboardist and singer Mino Cinelu.
 
Cinelu has worked with Miles Davis, Sting, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Vicente Amigo, Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Pino Daniele, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Salif Keita.
 
Cinelu will be joined by Richard Boulger on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dario Boente on piano and keyboards, and Tony Lewis on drums and percussion.
 
Doors open: 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
 
All proceeds will help support music education at BAAMS, which provides after-school and Saturday music study, as well as a summer jazz-band day camp for students ages 10-18, of all experience levels.
 
Also Saturday, the BAAMS faculty presents master-class workshops for all ages, featuring Cinelu, Boulger, Boente, Lewis and bassist Nathan Peck.
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