State-of-the-art Berkshire Place Ready for New Patients

November 11, 2014

Berkshire Place

PITTSFIELD >> Carmella Scelsi hopes to find the new Berkshire Place as welcoming as the century-old one she's called home the past four years.

On Wednesday, Scesli will be among the dozens of current long-term residents moving from the original skilled nursing facility at 89 South St. to the more spacious, state-of-the art, $10 million complex a half mile away at 260 South St.

"I hope it's as comfortable and warm as [the original] Berkshire Place has been," she said.

Scelsi joined other Berkshire Place residents, staff, along with city and projects officials for a tour of the three-story, 44,000-square-foot residence. The showcase Monday afternoon followed a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally mark completion of the yearlong project, completed on schedule and within budget, according to Executive Director Edward Forfa.

Forfa said the 54-bed facility — 10 more than the current one — will gradually employ 20 more staff members, bringing the total to 120 providing around-the-clock care.

The larger building will allow Berkshire Place to expand the services that it already offers for short- and long-term care and provide them in a more modern, accessible setting.

"We've reduced the number of steps for residents and staff with this layout ... while we continue our tradition of caring since 1888," Forfa said.

That year, the first Berkshire Place opened as a retirement home for women; known as the Berkshire County Home for Aged Women until 1960. It didn't accept male residents until 2006.

Both the former St. Teresa's Church and a one-time office building were razed on the 3.51-acre site to make way for the new Berkshire Place. St. Teresa's was one of several Berkshire County churches the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield closed in 2008.

Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi lauded the site's conversion from a religious use to a health care facility.

"The place gives a warm, welcoming feeling," he said.

The project's general contractor, Allegrone Construction Co. of Pittsfield, employed a number of local subcontractors, putting 100 skilled laborers to work. Project superintendent Rob Rosier, who led the tour, said the goal was to ensure Berkshire Place belonged in its new neighborhood.

"The building was designed to fit well with the contour of the land," he said.

The Berkshire Place board of directors hasn't decided the future use of originally brick building near the Berkshire Museum.

However, the organization is interested in using that structure to reconnect with its roots as a place that provides independent living for seniors, Forfa has said.

Meanwhile residents and board members marvel at the 21st century Berkshire Place.

"I have a beautiful room and wonderful people [who care for me]," said resident Carol Harris.

Board President Shaun Heimann added, "There's no other facility like this in Berkshire County."

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Download a PDF of the article: State-of-the-art Berkshire Place

View the article online here: www.berkshireeagle.com

 

 

 

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A huge heartfelt thank you to all our partners for helping us make Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity’s #HomeBuildersBlitz a reality. One week down, many more to go to complete the Gordon-Deming Village. 
Shout-out to out to the members of our project team for their tremendous dedication and hard work:

Project Manager- Joe Simon
Superintendent - Aaron Singer 
Superintendent - Clayton Babcock 
Principal - Lou E Allegrone
Architect - Anthony Allegrone

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89 South Senior Living Community Pittsfield, MA.

Originally built in 1888 as the Berkshire County Home for Aged Women, the design entailed restoring and replicating prominent historic details, which pay homage to the Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, while incorporating a new transitional style that boasts the comforts of multifamily living in the modern age.  The program houses 18 residential units along with shared amenities including dining cafe, reading and fitness and educational uses. 
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Full steam ahead! Day 4 of our progress at the Gordon-Deming Village in Pittsfield. September 7-14

Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz brings together professional builders from all over for one shared purpose - to build safe and affordable housing for families in need of a decent place to call home. 
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Renovations are now complete! The Monterey Library
Stacy Allegrone, Mahaiwe board member, along with Joe Lewis, brother Jay Lewis and Lindsay Lewis hit up the sold out Mahaiwe gala on Saturday night featuring comedian John Mulaney.
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We are all MAKERS with the power to build resilient communities.

Our team had a wonderful time participating in Yo-Yo Ma’s “Day of Action”, where teams of local businesses and organizations united under a single tent to build tables for the community.  The tables are made from local ash trees and inscribed with local responses that complete the phrase “The Berkshires make...”. #yoyoma #dayofaction #community #intheberkshires

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