Berkshire Community College's Board of Trustees got its first good look Tuesday at the multi-purpose turf facility planned for the school.

Scott Richards, BCC's director of facilities, gave an update on the building process during the trustees' monthly meeting in the Susan B. Anthony College Center. He shared renderings of what the field would look like when completed, samples of the FieldTurf that would be used on the field, and updated the board on both the school's and EDM Services Inc.'s goals for construction.

If everything goes according to plan, Richards said, the new facility -- built primarily for football, lacrosse and soccer -- will both be finished by the end of 2014, and return the vernal pool behind the field to pre-2001 levels by improving water runoff levels. The current natural-grass soccer fields on the site, Richards said, were raised and graded so that runoff was directed away from the vernal pool and wetlands.

"We're getting support from not only administration, but also the environmental science faculty," Richards said, "because of the potential for the improvement of the wetlands and the vernal pool."

Richards' presentation reiterated an expected budget of approximately $2 million. This figure has also been mentioned in presentations before both the Pittsfield School Committee and the City Council. Both groups have thrown their support behind the project, and a number of private foundations and booster clubs have donated money to the project.


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Richards' presentation also outlined the challenges of the project upon completion -- namely, scheduling between high school and youth teams, maintenance costs, replacement costs and safety/security. In previous interviews with The Eagle, unofficial project coordinator Mike MacDonald has said one of the goals is to have a $300,000 operating and replacement reserve fund in place for later facility upgrades.

Richards said BCC has also hired Stockman Associates LLC, of Plainfield, to handle the environmental permit process. He is dealing with the designers, and helping develop construction drawings up to the 80-percent mark.

"To get to 80 percent, which is what we're obligated to, allows us to ... go ahead with a permitting process," he said.

As she has done in the past, BCC President Ellen Kennedy affirmed her support for the project Tuesday.

"We see this as an important community asset," Kennedy told the board.

Should the project be seen through to completion, she added, "It's just going to be such a gem."

To reach Matthew Sprague:
msprague@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6254.
On Twitter: @BE_MSprague.