Harriman-and-West Airport's new administration building set to open in August

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NORTH ADAMS — Construction is well underway on the newest addition to the Harriman-and-West Airport.

First announced in 2016, a new airport administration building should be completed by August.

"Things are moving along very well; the contractor is actually on schedule," said Peter Enzien of Stantec Consulting Services, the airport's engineering consultant, at the Airport Commission meeting on Tuesday.

The building will offer simple amenities that were either nonexistent or difficult to access, such as public restrooms, and provides office space for airport administration.

The new administration building includes space carved out for a restaurant operator. For pilots, airport users and the local community, it means a bite to eat on the airport's scenic grounds. For the city, it means revenue.

Plans had initially called for construction of an entirely new building at the airport. But the city identified an alternative in the former doctor's building at the airport's entrance on State Road. Since coming under the ownership of Berkshire Health Systems through the bankruptcy proceedings of North Adams Regional Hospital's parent company, the building was no longer in use.

Berkshire Health Systems agreed to donate the building to the city, which saw it as a cheaper option and a better aesthetic fit at the airport.

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After plans were developed to retrofit the 1,600-square-foot building, there was only one problem left: it wasn't in the right spot.

In January, crews hoisted the building and moved it 150 yards further onto the airport grounds, nestled closer to the airport's existing buildings.

Construction of a new building was initially estimated to cost $4 million. When the plans shifted to a renovation of the doctor's building, officials estimated the project cost would be shaved to $2 million. But ultimately D.A. Sullivan & Sons won with a $3.6 million bid.

The contractor is 199 days into its 280-day contract.

"We're hoping that they're going to finish slightly in advance of that, one to two weeks in advance," Enzien said.

The state will pay for 95 percent of the administration building, with a 5 percent match due from the city.

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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