“I am a proud town administrator here, of the proud town of Adams — and this is a great day for us,” said Adams Town Administrator Jay Green.
Well over 100 people joined a dozen officials for the event, including Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card and Doug Rice, commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Baker and Polito, who are not seeking re-election, cited the project’s significance.
“For us to have a chance to come out and celebrate this project, given how long people have worked on this and how important it is, to this part of Massachusetts, was important to us,” Baker said.
Since July 2021, the state has provided over $9 million in bond funding to advance the project. The building, to be finished next year, will be the first component of the town’s proposed Greylock Glen Resort, a recreational destination development at the foot of Mount Greylock.
The center, designed by Maclay Architects, will be carbon net zero through the installation of solar panels on the roof and carport area and use high-efficiency heat pumps for heating and cooling, along with LED lighting.
Polito called the new center an “extraordinary asset” that will spur commerce and connect people with nature. She applauded local officials for their unity and follow-through. They are people, she said, who when they encountered obstacles were willing to “come up with a solution and get it done.”
Green remarked on the challenges and hard work it took to bring the project to fruition. The Baker/Polito administration released $6.5 million to construct the building last year. Back in December, Green contacted the administration with a plea. “We need just a little more to get us past the finish line,” he said. With the additional help of the administration they were able to start construction.
Greylock Glen, located at the base of Mount Greylock, the state’s highest peak, comprises over 1,000 acres that abut DCR’s 12,500-acre Mount Greylock State Reservation. The area includes an extensive trail network through open fields and wooded hillsides with recreational opportunities including hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Select Board members and state legislators and representatives took to podium to commemorate the project and reflect on the long path to it.
“It’s no longer a dream but a reality,” Adams Select Board Chair John Duval said. He said he hoped the project would be a “catalyst” for other outdoor recreational opportunities.
Card, the energy and environmental affairs secretary, commented on how the location offers incredible natural resources where residents and visitors can immerse themselves in the environment that Mount Greylock provides, where outdoor recreation and natural habitat and ecosystems can interconnect.
“We know that when people have access to wonderful places like this, their appreciation for it grows, their interest in investing in it and protecting it grows and it is just a benefit to all of us in Massachusetts,” Card said. “With the impacts of climate change at the forefront it’s so exciting that we have an energy efficient and green building that is going to be standing here. We need more models of this across Massachusetts.”
State Rep. John Barrett III said that when the funding for this project was announced last year, he got a little “choked up.”
“This project means so much,” Barrett said. “Like a fine wine this project has gotten better over the ages. I have seen it go from gambling to an environmentally sensitive project.”