1. Articles from diled

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    1. Hadley library officials 'over the moon' with $3.9M in state funding for new building

      Hadley library officials 'over the moon' with $3.9M in state funding for new building

      Library officials here didn't expect their proposal for a new facility to receive state funding right away. Now, after the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners on Thursday awarded the town $3.9 million, they're accelerating their plans. "We're thrilled. We're beyond thrilled. We're kind of flabbergasted," said Goodwin Memorial Library Director Patrick Borezo. "We felt very confident," he said, but officials never expected to be funded in the first round after filing a grant application last fall. Hadley's library is one of nine to receive state funding for construction this year. Plans call for ...

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      Mentions: Springfield Amherst
    2. Amherst forum to address downtown parking rates, hours

      Amherst forum to address downtown parking rates, hours

      The Downtown Parking Working Group will host a public forum Thursday night to talk about potential changes to downtown parking. Officials are considering increasing rates in certain areas, as well as imposing consistent hours and time limits. Rates are the same -- 50 cents -- no matter if people park in the garage or at meters. Parking is free after 6 p.m. at meters and at the Amherst Cinema lot, but not until 8 p.m. at the Boltwood Walk, CVS and Town Hall lots. Time limits vary from two hours to 10 hours depending on where people park.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    3. Developers hope to raze Amherst Motel, replace it with 131-unit luxury apartment complex

      Developers hope to raze Amherst Motel, replace it with 131-unit luxury apartment complex

      Owners of the Amherst Motel on Route 9 want to raze the building and replace it with a four-story, 131-unit luxury apartment building. The proposal by the Breck Group calls for razing the 23,451-square foot motel, replacing it with a 180,247-square foot apartment building with a footprint of 47,740 square feet. The plan calls for 15 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom, 11 three-bedroom and 82 four bedroom apartments. There would be 273 parking spaces. The Breck Group has applied for a modification of a previously granted special permit and an extension of approval for a pre-existing nonconforming apartment use ...

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      Mentions: Amherst
    4. Five College Consortium to celebrate opening of book annex in Hatfield

      Five College Consortium to celebrate opening of book annex in Hatfield

      The Five College Consortium is celebrating the opening of its $14 million annex in Hatfield with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday and tours of the 35,000-square-foot facility.  The annex provides shelf space for up to 2.5 million items from the Five College Repository Collection and from libraries of the campuses of the consortium --Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. That frees up space on the campuses for new materials and other academic needs.

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    5. UMass-Amherst grows: See how $1.8 billion in construction has transformed the campus

      UMass-Amherst grows: See how $1.8 billion in construction has transformed the campus

      In the last decade, the University of Massachusetts has invested $1.8 billion in more than two dozen building projects at the flagship Amherst campus. From research, classroom and office space to dormitories, dining halls, athletic facilities and infrastructure, buildings have sprouted or expanded across the sprawling campus. As the Class of 2017 takes its collective next step at Friday afternoon's commencement, we take a look at the construction that has transformed UMass, including how much each project cost:

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    6. Amherst to sign Community Compact agreement with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito Thursday

      Amherst to sign Community Compact agreement with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito Thursday

      The program was created by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2015 to elevate the administration's partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the governor's office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities, according to the program website. The creation of the department "champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities," the website states. "The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners." Economic Development Director Geoff Kravitz said that Amherst signed up ...

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    7. UMass Design Building showcases potential for new timber product industry in Massachusetts

      UMass Design Building showcases potential for new timber product industry in Massachusetts

      Using the University of Massachusetts Design Building as a stage, state officials Wednesday talked about the viability and job potential in creating an industry to make the cross-laminated timber used in the building's construction. The gathering was held to mark the release of a New England Forestry Foundation report detailing how creating the wood would be a boon to forests, the economy and the environment. Dan Sieger, state assistant secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said that only about 2 percent of the state's forest is used for building. Engineering cross-laminated timber would benefit the environment and "support ...

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    8. Texas-based Visionworks to open where Pizza Studio once was in Hadley

      Texas-based Visionworks to open where Pizza Studio once was in Hadley

      GNC, the vitamin supplement shop, has left the Hampshire Mall and opened across the street to become the new neighbor of Starbucks's at Hadley Corner. An eyeglass-eyecare shop, meanwhile, will open next to the vitamin shop where Pizza Studio once was. Construction workers putting finishing touches on several businesses at Hadley Corner The San Antonio, Texas-based Visionworks will open this spring, said Natick developer Eugene Crowley.  A construction crew was working there Wednesday morning and expected to finish work next month. According to the Visionworks website - the company, formerly Eye Care Centers, has 700 retail shops in 42 states.

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    9. Mixed-use apartment complex planned for downtown Amherst

      Mixed-use apartment complex planned for downtown Amherst

      The developers of Boltwood Place, Kendrick Place and the One East Pleasant Street project under construction downtown want to build another commercial-residential complex near the Grace Episcopal Church.  Kyle Wilson and David Williams, principals with Archipelago Investments, envision a 38-unit, five-story building with retail space on the ground floor, similar to the style of their other downtown projects. The company also built the 75-unit Olympia Place to accommodate students near the University of Massachusetts, a project that opened in August, and the 12-unit Boltwood Place, overlooking the Boltwood Walk Parking Garage, which opened in 2012.

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    10. Mass. Cultural Council awards Amherst $5,000 for cultural district

      Mass. Cultural Council awards Amherst $5,000 for cultural district

      The Massachusetts Cultural Council recently awarded the town a $5,000 grant to help launch the newly established Amherst Center Cultural District. Local organizations will match the grant, which is intended to "generate and promote additional cultural activities in the downtown district," according to a press release. "Attracting visitors to Amherst to enjoy our wide range of cultural activities is important for our economy," said Town Manager Paul Bockelman.

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    11. 130-unit mixed use North Amherst project gets ZBA approval

      130-unit mixed use North Amherst project gets ZBA approval

      The developer of a 130-unit mixed retail project received Zoning Board of Appeals approval and tax incentive commitment from the town on the same day -- Monday. Beacon Communities is proposing to build 26 affordable housing units as part of the $47.5 million project called North Square. The ZBA attached 130 conditions to the project, details of which were not immediately available, but the number of units will remain what was proposed despite some neighbors asking that the project size be reduced.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    12. UMass researcher says all-natural 'wire' discovery could replace man-made electronic connectors

      UMass researcher says all-natural 'wire' discovery could replace man-made electronic connectors

      Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts have discovered a new type of natural wire that could replace traditional wires in the sensors in cellphones and other electronics. Instead of man-made electronics, researchers here have found they can develop sustainable "green" conducting materials for the electronics industry. The study by UMass microbiologist Derek Lovley and colleagues appears this week in mBio, the American Society of Microbiology's premier journal. Lovley said he's really excited by the discovery and sees it as "revolutionary" for the electronics industry. Microbial nanowires are natural, unlike the toxic chemicals used in wires manufactured now that ...

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    13. Joint Amherst Chamber of Commerce-BID office opens downtown

      Joint Amherst Chamber of Commerce-BID office opens downtown

      he office officially opened Tuesday at 35 South Pleasant St. It is operated jointly by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District. The office is open five days a week, but also will be staffed by volunteers on the weekends and some nights during special events, like the monthly Arts Night Plus openings, said Sarah la Cour, executive director of the BID. The Chamber used to have a small yellow kiosk on the common where it provided visitor information, but that closed and was removed several years ago.

       

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      Mentions: Amherst
    14. UMass celebrates opening of $150M life science research center

      UMass celebrates opening of $150M life science research center

      Since the Institute for Applied Life Sciences was established in 2014, it has brought in $20 million in research grants, enlisted 31 project partners and created five startup companies — all before the building's formal opening. University of Massachusetts Amherst officials celebrated the opening of the institute's $150 million research facilities Friday with speeches, a formal ribbon cutting, talks, tours and panel discussions. Among the hundreds who attended were UMass faculty and students, state officials and Five College faculty.

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    15. Amherst to again have dedicated visitor center with BID, Chamber office merger

      Amherst to again have dedicated visitor center with BID, Chamber office merger

      The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District will move into 35 South Pleasant St., which will enable them to provide a staffed visitor's center seven days a week. A British-themed business had been looking to open there but withdrew its plans. The chamber at one point had a small yellow kiosk on the common where it provided information, but that closed and was moved several years ago. Tim O'Brien, the chamber's executive director, said that while everyone has a smartphone, there's nothing like talking to someone.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    16. Five College Consortium to celebrate library annex groundbreaking in Hatfield

      Five College Consortium to celebrate library annex groundbreaking in Hatfield

      Officials from the Five College Consortium will be celebrating the groundbreaking of its library annex building Thursday at 10 a.m. on the site it has purchased here. Work actually began in May and the annex is expected to be finished next May. Five College officials had planned to build the annex needed to store books and library material from the area schools in Hadley. But the Hadley Planning Board last year rejected the proposal to build it on a nearly 46-acre parcel off North Maple Street.

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    17. UMass receives $870,000 grant to train nursing students to screen for drug and alcohol...

      UMass receives $870,000 grant to train nursing students to screen for drug and alcohol...

      The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the college an $870,000 grant to develop the training. Over 500 students are expected to participate over a three-year period. The project is one of only 12 to be funded nationally by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, according to a press release.

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    18. Amherst developers scaling back One East Pleasant mixed-use project

      Amherst developers scaling back One East Pleasant mixed-use project

      Developers of One East Pleasant Street are coming back to the Planning Board with modified plans that would reduce the number of tenants and increase the landscaping. Instead of 84 apartments with 184 tenants, Archipelago Investments developers David Williams and Kyle Wilson are proposing building 135 apartments with 143 tenants. Initial plans included eight four-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units. Now the plans call for 60 studios, which were not part of the original plan, as well as 67 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    19. Amherst gets $175,971 in green money to help pay for electric car purchase

      Amherst gets $175,971 in green money to help pay for electric car purchase

      Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton announced funding for 47 communities Wednesday. Money from the grant will be used for projects that will save the town between 2 and 4 percent in energy consumption, said Stephanie Ciccarello, Amherst's sustainability coordinator. Part of the funding will be used to help cut the town's share of the cost of the electric vehicle the town will purchase next month. The town received more than $18,000 in funding from other sources and was using money from the capital budget for the rest, Ciccarello said.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    20. Amherst receives $825,000 mini-entitlement grant to pay for accessibility improvements,...

      Amherst receives $825,000 mini-entitlement grant to pay for accessibility improvements,...

      The town has received a $825,000 Community Development Block Grant as expected. The town was one of 11 eligible for up to $825,000 in the mini-entitlement grants, provided the applications met state criteria. The town applied in February and recently received news that the grant was successful. Of the funding, $535,000 will be used for non-social-service projects, $165,000 for social service programs and $125,000 for grant administration.

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    21. 1930 bank gets new life with transformation into coworking space

      1930 bank gets new life with transformation into coworking space

      The building at Amity and North Pleasant streets had been a bank since 1930 until TD Bank left last August. Now building owner Barry Roberts and local developers are transforming the 5,000-square-foot First National Bank building it into coworking space, the first such space downtown. The idea is to offer space for people who don't have or need a traditional office and to provide the chance to network, said Jerry Guidera., a developer and acting executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

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      Mentions: TD Bank Amherst
    22. Hampshire College hopes to begin building solar system this spring

      Hampshire College hopes to begin building solar system this spring

      Hampshire College has begun an impact study with Eversource to evaluate the college plan to install a solar power system that would generate all of the college's electricity. The impact study will look at how the arrays will function in the electrical distribution systems in Amherst and Hadley, and if any upgrades are needed for safe, stable, and reliable operation, Todd R. Holland, the property and operations manager, explained in an email. The studies typically take between 55 and 70 days. He said the college hopes to begin work on the system in the spring.

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    23. Innovative UMass Design Building 'designed by designers for designers to teach design'

      Innovative UMass Design Building 'designed by designers for designers to teach design'

      For years, Michael Davidson has been teaching landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts in a building that was a former dorm. He can't wait for the new $52 million Design Building to be finished. He can keep track of the building's progress from the former Hills dorm overlooking the site. "It's very exciting," he said. "This is designed by designers for designers ... to teach design," and will serve as a teaching tool in its own right.

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