In the Scenic Town of Adams, It's the Summer of the Shovel

Tue September 08, 2020 - Northeast Edition
Berkshire Eagle



The summer of 2020 has proven to be a busy one in the beautiful town of Adams, tucked in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of northwest Massachusetts.

Although a tourist town of more than 8,000 residents, a lot of the activity in Adams also is due to the myriad of construction projects that are under way or almost complete in the community.

Town Common Renovation

This project includes the creation of a new plaza on Center Street that will hold a Susan B. Anthony statue. Other work at the site was designed to create an outdoor public gathering place, with paths, benches, plantings (including a hedge screen at the border with the local McDonald's), and a new gazebo.

William J. Keller & Sons Construction, from Castleton-on-Hudson, N.Y., is the contractor. Crews began the project in early July, with a completion date set for Nov. 30.

The cost of the renovation effort is $424,900, of which $297,400 will be covered by a state Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities Grant.

Russell Field Improvements

Located off Harmony Street in Adams, near the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, the sports complex includes a regrading of the softball field, with a new backstop, drainage work to stop water flow off a nearby hill; two new tennis courts (with lines for pickleball play), adult fitness stations, new swing sets fully accessible bleachers, and electrical conduits for later work to upgrade light poles. The fieldhouse is the only component of the park not undergoing an upgrade.

The cost of the improvements is $528,153, with a 2019 Community Development Block Grant covering $469,953 of the total. Mountain View Landscapes and Lawncare in Chicopee started the work in July and is set to finish the upgrades by the end of 2020.

Adams Memorial Middle School Renovation and Reuse

Located at 30 Columbia St., the former 69,786-sq. ft. school educated students for 60 years until it was consolidated with the town's high school in 2012.

Since February, crews from Kurtz in Chicopee have continued work to prepare the old school building for possible use as housing and for community activities. A new mechanical system, upgrades to the electrical and plumbing systems, improvements to restrooms, the installation of new doors, and upgrades to address building code shortcomings have all been on the docket. The improvements are expected to be completed soon.

The contract for this project in Adams is $639,683, with all but $55,000 (the town's share) paid by a 2018 Community Development Block Grant.

Crotteau Street Improvements

This residential street project is designed to install a full reconstruction of 1,300 ft. of the roadway, as well as put in new sidewalks from Murray to Sparrow streets, new granite curbing, new wheelchair ramps and several drainage improvements. The road is just east of the Hoosic River and downtown Adams.

Greenfield's Clayton D. Davenport Trucking is the contractor for the work, which started June 9 and is expected to be wrapped up by Nov. 30.

The cost of the enterprise is $445,063, paid for through a Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Complete Streets Funding Program grant of $290,281, and a $154,782 share of the town's Chapter 90 state aid.

Street Drainage Improvements

The upgrades include work along four streets in Adams: Grant, Valley, Lincoln and Cross.

Commenced on Aug. 1, with a planned completion by June 30, 2021, crews will install 2,000 ft. of concrete drainpipes to replace failing systems, with new catch basins and manholes. The project was spurred, in part, by heavy local flooding seen during a September 2018 microburst.

This project has a contract value of $1,306,600, paid for with borrowing by the town and a $572,100 grant.

The civil and environmental construction firm of J.H. Maxymillian Inc., in Pittsfield, Mass., is performing the work.