Old Chapel at UMass Earns LEED Gold Certification
AMHERST — The renovation of the historic Old Chapel at UMass Amherst earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED rating system is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. Built in 1885, the Old Chapel is the most iconic and significant historic building on the UMass Amherst campus. Designed by Steven Earle in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the building originally housed a library, auditorium, natural-history collections, and classrooms. It was later used as a drill hall, departmental offices, and finally as home to the Minuteman Marching Band in the 1960s, before officially closing its doors in 1999 due to structural deterioration. The Old Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, and work began on a $21 million renovation, addition, and preservation effort to restore the building to its original glory. The revitalized Old Chapel now serves students, faculty, and alumni as a campus resource. The first floor provides a flexible layout for student study, gallery exhibitions, and community events, while the Great Hall on the top floor provides a large, open space for performances, lectures, receptions, and weddings. UMass Amherst and the UMass Building Authority hired Finegold Alexander Architects of Boston to design the restoration and demonstrate how aspects of historic preservation and sustainability can work together. The firm deployed an array of sustainability strategies to maintain the integrity of the original design and materials, while adapting the building’s structure and interior to modern use, access, and building-code requirements. The Old Chapel’s original structure consists of local timber and stone such as Pelham granite and Longmeadow sandstone. The design reused 83% of structural masonry, wood columns, beams, trusses, and wainscoting trim, and 82% of new wood products were either locally sourced or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The addition of a contemporary glass entry pavilion at the south façade is integrated into a landscaped terrace that provides full accessibility while also incorporating water-efficient landscaping and rainwater management that improves site ecology. Meeting modern indoor environment and energy-efficiency requirements within the original exterior wall assembly was a challenge; the design team used energy modeling to find the correct balance of masonry-wall insulation, energy-efficient glazing, and stained-glass restoration so that sustainability goals were in concert with historic restoration efforts. The building is designed to exceed code energy performance by 21% and to reduce potable water use by 34%, and it will follow a rigorous measurement and verification process that ensures those savings are realized post-occupancy.
The Hub Studio Announces Grand-opening Celebration
FLORENCE — Tracy Roth, who launched the Hub Studio, a fitness studio located at the Nonotuck Mill in Florence, will host a grand opening at the studio on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The studio will offer spinning, TRX resistance training, mat Pilates, scientifically backed nutrition-coaching programs, outdoor cycling instruction, workshops, special events, and more. The grand opening will include refreshments and snacks from local cafés and restaurants, live music from kid-friendly DJ Quintessential, free chair massage, a raffle, and more. The raffle prizes include classes and a three-month membership at the Hub Studio, as well as other exclusive items from area businesses. The event is free, and the public is welcome. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz will attend to assist with the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Located in Suite 202 at the Nonotuck Mill, 296-C Nonotuck St., Florence, the studio will be open full-time starting Monday, Oct. 2 and will include group fitness classes for all levels during the morning, afternoon, and evening hours. The studio will also have classes, workshops, and special events on Saturdays and Sundays. For class descriptions, schedule, a blog, and more, visit www.yourhubstudio.com.
BCC Launches New Job-search Website
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced that its Career Development Center has launched new career-management software with College Central Network (CCN) at www.collegecentral.com/berkshirecc. BCC students past, present, and future now have access to the latest resources and job opportunities at the regional and national level. Additionally, this tool will enhance communication among various departments within the college that routinely collaborate with employers in the community. The new website offers exclusive job postings targeting the BCC student and alumni population as well as access to hundreds of career articles, podcasts, and career-advice resources. Students and any community members can upload or build a résumé on the site as well as register for career-related events around the area and receive alerts for their ideal job. BCC recently sent out registration notifications to local employers, inviting them to create an account. Once confirmed, they may begin uploading job opportunities that they would like to post. BCC’s job-search site is meant to assist local employers and the community in making it easier to post and find jobs. It also helps ensure a smooth transition for BCC students to find local employment with support from the software and the college’s Career Development Center team.
JA of Western Massachusetts Announces Grant Awards
SPRINGFIELD — Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts announced that it received a $10,000 grant from the United Bank Foundation to bring financial-literacy programs to students in East Longmeadow, Westfield, West Springfield, and Springfield. The programs will teach students concepts related to budgeting, saving, and money management with the intent of promoting the development of good financial habits. The partnership includes the involvement of volunteers from United Bank to help deliver the programs to students. Meanwhile, JA of Western Massachusetts also received a $7,200 grant from the UPS Foundation to implement JA “Be Entrepreneurial” classes. The curriculum introduces high-school students to the essential elements of a practical business plan and challenges them to start an entrepreneurial venture while still in high school. Students learn about advertising, competitive advantages, financing, marketing, and product development, all of which are key to being an informed entrepreneur. The program includes seven 45-minute sessions taught by a community or corporate volunteer. Volunteers bring in their own experiences and life lessons to the classroom to enhance the JA program. Schools and organizations participating in “Be Entrepreneurial” include Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, the JA BEE Summer Program, the Center for Human Development, St. Mary’s High School, and East Longmeadow High School.
Tighe & Bond Among Top New England Design Firms
WESTFIELD — Tighe & Bond, a Northeast leader in engineering and environmental consulting, has been ranked ninth in the Engineering News Record’s (ENR) New England Top Design Firms edition. In addition, the firm was named among the Top 200 Environmental Firms by ENR, and appeared for the first time as a Top 60 Engineering Firm nationwide by Building Design + Construction. Other recent rankings for Tighe & Bond include number 154 on ENR’s list of Top 200 Environmental Firms, based on environmental-specific revenue from 2016; number 260 on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms, based on design-specific revenue from 2016; and sixth on Hartford Business Journal’s list of Largest Engineering Firms in Greater Hartford.
Hogan Technology Receives Cybersecurity Certification
EASTHAMPTON — Hogan Technology, a provider of unified communications, announced that the company is certified to provide cybersecurity solutions to SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses) to protect them from the barrage of cyberattacks that occur every day. Cybercrimes are a serious threat, and most businesses cannot afford to become the victim of malware, ransomware, phishing, password attacks, denial-of-service attacks, or malvertising of any sort for a prolonged period of time, said Sean Hogan, president of Hogan Technology. Recent advancements in preventive technology have helped SMBs safeguard themselves from unnecessary attacks, network vulnerabilities, and company downtime that can often result from such disruptions. Hogan Technology invests heavily in its staff of IT professionals to ensure that everyone is well-trained, certified, and fully equipped to protect customers from cyberattacks.
Bay Path Master’s Degree in Applied Data Science Ranked 12th Nationally
LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University’s master’s of science degree in applied data science was ranked 12th in a list of the top 50 data-science programs nationwide by www.onlinecoursereport.com. Rankings were based on a combination of affordability, flexibility, and student support services. The article highlights the low student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1 at Bay Path. It also makes reference to the university’s WiSH (Women in STEM Honors) program, which offers a four-year curriculum consisting of integrated and advanced study and research for women at the undergraduate level dedicated to becoming scientists. The university is also home to the Center of Excellence for Women in STEM, providing professional development, networking, and mentorship opportunities for students and professional women in STEM fields. The program is fully online and open to both women and men. The 36-credit program teaches the fundamental principles, platforms, and toolsets of the data-science profession in an accelerated format that can be completed in as little as one year. This rapidly growing career field is well suited to professionals with backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, and business analysis, with graduates achieving such career outcomes as data scientist, data engineer, and more.