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North Adams Airport to Use Vacant Doctors Building
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Friday, September 22, 2017
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The city is planning to move the former medical building to the airfield for use as an administrative building.


The Airport Commission meets Tuesday at City Hall. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There are plans to move the vacant medical building next to Harriman-West Airport for use as a new administrative building.
 
"We are going to physically pick it up off of the slab and move it to the fence line," Chairman Jeff Naughton said Tuesday at an Airport Commission meeting. "We are going to put it on a slab or foundation. We are still in the process." 
 
The city's Administrative Officer Michael Canales said the commission had planned to use a $200,000 gift from real estate developer and Turboprop East director Harry S. Patten Jr. to fund the city's share of the construction of an airport terminal.
 
The $4 million administrative building was to be located at the end of the Airport Road and have room for offices, conference room, pilots' lounge, and possibly a restaurant and public viewing area to encourage more access to the airport. 
 
But the funding through the state Department of Transportation didn't come through and an effort to access funds through other programs didn't pan out.
 
However, the commission has found a cheaper option: take an existing building and move it a few hundred feet. 
 
"Hopefully, we can get it done in 2018 when the weather firms up and the ground firms up in the spring," Naughton said. "Then they can start working on it and hopefully have the thing moved and renovated before the year is out." 
 
Airport Manager Bill Greenwald said the new building will house all airport components such as the telephone main panel, the ASUS, the gate computer and a new video surveillance system. 
 
"Typically, with these administrative buildings there is an equipment room to house all of this stuff," he said. "It will be nice having everything in one spot." 
 
Greenwald said the airport's systems are currently spread throughout the airport.
 
The 20-year-old building at 820 State Road formerly housed Northern Berkshire Family Practice, which was relocated after Northern Berkshire Healthcare when bankrupt and its assets acquired by Berkshire Health Systems. The building's been empty for a couple years and it was targeted for demolition should Thomas Krens move forward with plans for a for-profit museum on the site.
 
In other business, Canales said the Federal Aviation Administration has approved a land release request to free up some space near Airport Road to possibly place a cell phone tower.
 
"Verizon had requested to put a tower on the land and ... we have to put out a RFP ... so we are just going to put it out there and say this area is available," he said. "We would have our specifications, such as height, and they would propose how much they would pay us to lease the land."   
 
Airport engineer Cory Miller of Stantec said the tower would be 105 feet tall, which is below FAA transitional surface standards.
 
Greenwald added that it is common practice to place cell towers at airports and that the airport will be able to place its beacon on top of the tower.
 
He added Verizon is willing to maintain the tower.
 
"It means that I don't have to climb a 105-foot tower and … we also want it to look like a traditional old-fashioned beacon tower, which is a really cool idea," he said. 
 
Greenwald said the location of the tower us somewhat unknown at the time but they would want it as close to route 2 as possible between Airport Road and the drainage ditch.
 
Canales said the city will bring the RFP before the commissioners so they can comment on specifications.
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