STCC, Eastern States Exposition Partner on Internship Program
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and the Eastern States Exposition (ESE) recently announced a scholarship that creates internship opportunities for STCC students in the Civil Engineering Technology program. Through a donation from Eastern States Exposition, the college created the STCC Civil Engineering Excellence Fund this past June to support a Civil Engineering Learning Laboratory at the exposition facilities. The laboratory will provide STCC students with the opportunity to apply classroom skills outside the campus in a working environment. The partnership between STCC and the ESE will provide a unique learning opportunity to STCC students. Selected interns will receive a scholarship and be recognized at the annual STCC scholarship and awards ceremony. Students will develop project organization, management, and communication plans; catalog, review, and digitally archive historical blueprints and engineering documents; interview and gather facility development history; locate the exposition site’s structural, sewer, electrical, and roadway systems; provide updated digital schematics and renderings of the site using industry-standard software; and recommend areas for consideration for future analysis and verification. “It’s a unique opportunity for our students because it allows them to have a historical perspective of what they are working on,” said STCC Foundation Interim Director Robert LePage. “It’s a really great hands-on learning experience.” STCC student Carlos Cruz is the first student to participate in the program and began work this summer. Under the supervision of STCC Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering Technology Robert Vetrano, Cruz already has scanned more than 600 of the exposition’s drawings, converted them into TIF format, cleaned the images, and finally converted them into PDF format. Next summer, LePage said he hopes to have at least three or four additional interns to help with the project, and credits the Eastern States Exposition with stepping forward to become the first local organization to support the scholarship program. “It’s an interesting project,” said LePage. “And it’s nice to support and partner with an organization like the Eastern States Exposition, with such a strong mission and focus on education.” LePage noted that, while the ESE is the first organization to step forward to contribute to the STCC Civil Engineering Excellence Fund, there are opportunities for other area businesses to get involved.
Colony Hills Capital Announces Acquisition
WILBRAHAM — Colony Hills Capital, LLC (CHC), a Wilbraham-based real-estate-investment firm, recently closed on the $14 million purchase of Wynthrope Forest Apartments, a 270-unit, garden-style community located in Riverdale, Ga. Wynthrope Forest, built in 2000, occupies 28 acres of land. “Because Wynthrope Forest was an REO, we were able to acquire this tremendous asset at an excellent cost basis and significantly below replacement cost,” said David Kaufman, vice president with CHC. “With minor capital improvements and instituting best-in-class management disciplines, I believe our investors will be rewarded with strong risk-adjusted returns.” CHC was joined by equity partners Plymouth Opportunity REIT and Redwood Real Estate Partners in the investment, as well as Morgan Stanley, which provided the mortgage financing on the property.
Big Y Opens Latest Store
SPRINGFIELD — Big Y recently opened its newest World Class Market at 348 East Central St. in Franklin. The 56,866- square-foot market boasts many new innovations both inside and outside of the store. Bowdoin Construction Corp. served as the general contractor for this location, in conjunction with several local subcontractors, such as Tom Gioloso Construction Inc., for the completion of this $14.5 million investment that began in September 2011. “All of us at Big Y are excited to offer the Franklin community with a brand-new shopping experience and a new option for their grocery and lifestyle needs,” said Big Y’s president and chief operating officer, Charles D’Amour.
AJE Financial Services Moves into New Quarters
LUDLOW — AJE Financial Services in Ludlow recently moved into new offices at 588 Center St. in Ludlow. Previously located on 364 East St. in Ludlow, the company had outgrown its former location. Owner and President Robin Wdowiak said he is pleased to be able to keep the business in town. “AJE Financial Services has been a part of the Ludlow business community for 17 years, and we are thrilled that we were able to find a suitable location right here in town,” said Wdowiak. “I grew up in Ludlow and know many of the residents here, so there is always a neighbor-helping-neighbor feeling to the services that we provide.” The company staged an open house on Sept. 6.