COPY Krens,  Western Gateway Heritage State Park

Western Gateway Heritage State Park.

NORTH ADAMS — The visitor museum at the Western Gateway Heritage State Park is reopening Thursday after it closed for weeks amid problems with insects and a leaky roof.

The museum, focused on the Hoosac Tunnel, is run by the State Department of Conversation and Recreation. The city owns the property.

People working in the building reported an issue with insects and an exterminator came in to do multiple treatments and cleaning, said William Meranti, the city's building inspector.

“They've been cleared to move back in," he said. "The roof leak is obviously an issue that we are attempting to deal with. It's only an issue when it rains, as bad as that sounds."

He added that "at the moment it's more of a nuisance leak that we need to take care of.”

The city has long been trying to sell the park.

In 2017, Thomas Krens reached an agreement with the North Adams Redevelopment Authority on an option to purchase the property on Furnace Street and adjacent Sons of Italy building on Christopher Columbus Drive and open an Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum.

Krens, North Adams board reach deal for purchase of Western Gateway Heritage State Park
Model railroad museum in North Adams gets more time for park deal

The option, which was later extended through June 2019, has expired, Mayor Tom Bernard said. "We never successfully negotiated a new option."

The city is still looking to sell the property.

"It is a place that has tremendous potential," he said. "Like the public safety building, it is a place that suffered and continues to suffer from deferred maintenance needs that are beyond the carrying capacity of the city to address."

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6272.

Reporter

Greta Jochem, a Report for America Corps member, joined the Eagle in 2021. Previously, she was a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is also a member of the investigations team.