Basketball Hall of Fame Taps White Lion for Enshrinement Release
SPRINGFIELD — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and White Lion Brewing Co. announced the two will collaborate and release a special ale with a commemorative collector’s label designed to capture the imagery of the Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement program. The collector’s label melds the Hall of Fame’s iconic dome with the city of Springfield skyline into White Lion’s award-winning brand. “White Lion is extremely honored to partner with the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame for an annual release affectionately dubbed Enshrinement Legend Series, which pays homage to the birthplace of basketball, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and class honorees,” said Ray Berry, White Lion president. “The city of Springfield is the home of this global sport, and we are excited to play a role in the annual enshrinement-ceremony experience.” The Basketball Hall of Fame will present the class of 2021 Saturday, Sept. 11 at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield.
Keiter Corp. Donates $10,000 for Northampton Gift-card Promotion
FLORENCE — Keiter Corp. has donated $10,000 to the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce for a promotion that will allow consumers to purchase a $25 Northampton gift card and receive $50 in actual spending power. This investment by Keiter, aimed at helping to continue to boost the local economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be supplemented by a $2,500 contribution from the chamber’s Community Revitalization Fund, allowing for 250 of the double-valued, $25 Northampton gift cards to be sold. Billed as a “Kickstart the Community with a Keiter Card” campaign, the promotion launched on Aug. 12, with the cards sold exclusively at the chamber offices at 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Based in Florence, Keiter has provided general-contracting and construction-management services in the Valley since 2010 for its commercial and residential projects. Scott Keiter is a member of the chamber’s board of directors and its finance committee, so he is personally aware of the financial hit that local merchants took during the pandemic. Knowing the gift-card program has been successful, he thought an investment focused on it would be a win-win-win for his business, the chamber, and shoppers around the region who have also been hard-hit. The Northampton Gift Card is currently accepted at 65 restaurants, shops, and other establishments.
Asnuntuck, Enfield Partner on Early-childhood Initiative
ENFIELD, Conn. — The town of Enfield’s Family Resource Center, a division of the Enfield Department of Social Services, partnered with Asnuntuck Community College’s Early Childhood Education program last month on a creative collaborative program. The two partners provided an educational experience at the Enfield Public Schools’ Stowe Early Learning Center to preschool-aged children who are entering preschool and kindergarten in the fall, and who have had a limited preschool experience due to the pandemic. The summer program was three weeks long, with three classes of 16 children each going to kindergarten and two classes of 10 children each going to preschool. Funding for the program came from the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, and it was partially staffed by teaching assistants who are Asnuntuck students or recent graduates.
Businesses Pull Together to Help YMCA’s Camp Weber
WEST SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield reached out to several local business for their help with upgrades at its Camp Weber in West Springfield this past year. Over the course of a few months this spring, various projects were completed to upgrade Camp Weber, including paving, new roofs, painting, landscaping, consulting, new equipment, and more. The YMCA was also fortunate to receive donations and grant awards to help with other expenses on the project. In addition, some community friends came together and helped raise enough money to send nearly 300 kids to one-week sessions of camp. Among those who helped the YMCA make improvements at Camp Weber are Adam Quennville Roofing & Siding, anonymous donors, the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust, Big E Trust – Town of West Springfield, Construction Dynamics, Eastman Chemical Co., Excel Dryer, Graybar Electric Supply, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Kelly Building Group, Kittredge Foodservice Equipment & Supply, Noonan Energy, Nora Roberts Foundation, Ondrick Materials & Recycling, Szlachetka Dubay, P.C., West Springfield Rotary Club, and West Springfield Rotary District 7890.
WNEU School of Law Co-Hosts Workshop to Support Asian-American Women
SPRINGFIELD — More than 100 current and aspiring law professors participated in the inaugural Workshop for Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women in the Legal Academy on Aug. 5-6. The event included workshops focused on professional development, scholarship, wellness, and Asian-American history. The AAPI workshop was co-hosted by Sudha Setty, dean and professor of Law at Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law, along with Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, associate dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar; clinical professor of Law; and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law in University Park. In addition to providing inspiration, the workshop offered tangible support to individuals from populations that are historically underrepresented in the legal field. Given the workshop’s success in its inaugural year, Wadhia said organizers hope it will be an annual event hosted by a rotating group of law schools across the country. Institutional support, she added, is key to making progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal academy.
Dam Upgrades, Repairs to Begin at Springfield Armory Site
SPRINGFIELD — The city of Springfield recently announced it is beginning the $3.6 million project to repair and upgrade the Watershops Pond Dam at the historic former Springfield Armory manufacturing site. GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., a multi-disciplinary firm providing ecological, geotechnical, environmental, water, and construction-management services, designed and provided permitting support for this major infrastructure project. Watershops Pond, which is created by the dam, is surrounded by several historic industrial buildings that were part of the Springfield Armory, the first federal armory and the primary manufacturing center for U.S. military firearms from 1794 until its closing in 1968. Gardner Construction & Industrial Services Inc. of Chicopee was awarded the general contract to construct the improvements at this high-hazard-potential dam. One of the key elements of the dam-improvement project includes replacing the 65-year-old crest gate. The three-foot-tall, 105-foot-long, flap-like structure can be lowered in advance of major storms and hurricanes to release water and reduce the level of the pond to mitigate potential flooding and protect the safety of the dam and downstream areas.
Several other measures will be implemented to bring the dam in compliance with Massachusetts dam-safety regulations and improve access to the gate-control house for city of Springfield personnel. The project is being funded through a $17 million grant the city was awarded in 2017 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Program. In advance of construction, GZA has facilitated and overseen a controlled draw-down of the 200-acre pond for inspection of the dam and pre-construction activities.
Home City Development Secures Permit for Affordable-housing Development in Pelham
PELHAM — Home City Development Inc., a Springfield-based affordable-housing developer, has received a comprehensive permit from the Pelham Zoning Board of Appeals for the construction of 34 mixed-income rental units. On Aug. 10, the Zoning Board approved the comprehensive permit for the property to be known as Amethyst Brook Apartments. This is the first affordable-housing development approved in the town of Pelham and the first time the Zoning Board of Appeals has awarded this type of permit. Two new buildings will be constructed at 20-22 Amherst Road; 22 Amherst Road will be designed to ‘passive house’ standards, which includes energy-efficiency specifications that drastically reduce the building’s ecological footprint. Notable additions to the site construction include a stormwater-management system and electric-vehicle charging stations. Next, Home City Development will finalize project financing, and construction is expected to be completed within 12 to 14 months after the start date, to be announced. The design team is led by Architecture Environment Life of East Longmeadow. Berkshire Design Group of Northampton will conduct civil engineering and landscape design.
SERVPRO of Hampshire County Celebrates 25 Years in Community
BELCHERTOWN — SERVPRO of Hampshire County, a cleanup and restoration company, is recognizing its 25th anniversary in the local business community. The company will celebrate its milestone with an open house on Thursday, Sept. 16 at its offices at 50 Depot St. in Belchertown. Fall has been in business since Aug. 16, 1996. SERVPRO clients include insurance companies seeking restoration services, as well as commercial and residential property owners who require routine cleaning services. With more than 50 years of experience, the SERVPRO system’s time-tested techniques and proprietary cleaning products have earned its franchises a spot as a leader in the restoration and cleaning industry. SERVPRO of Hampshire County is capable of cleaning and restoring a fire-, mold-, or water-damaged building and its contents, including wall, ceiling, and floor surfaces; furniture; fabric; fixtures; and more. Many franchisees also offer cleaning and restoration of special items, such as HVAC duct systems; building exteriors; electronic equipment, including computers; and documents that have sustained water damage.
New Community Center, Housing Coming to Carriage Grove
BELCHERTOWN — MassDevelopment and the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corp. (BEDIC) announced the selection of Brisa Ventures, LLC to develop a 12-acre parcel of land at Carriage Grove into a new mixed-income residential community featuring approximately 100 units of housing. Brisa Ventures will also preserve and redevelop the existing former Belchertown State School administration building into a community center, museum, cultural space, meeting space, and either a restaurant, brewery, or distillery. Construction of the development is projected to begin by the end of 2022 and is expected to be complete within 18 to 24 months. The sale of this BEDIC-owned parcel and building to Brisa Ventures will represent the first phase of a multi-phased, mixed-use project under negotiation with the company intended to include additional commercial, residential, and community-oriented investments. The new rental housing units will be designed as a mix of two- and three-story apartment- and townhome-style residences and built to ultra-low energy-use standards; they are planned to use solar energy to meet net-zero energy use. The development will also include extensive common green areas with play areas, community gathering spaces, and pathways that connect the housing units to each other and to the neighboring trail network.