Ground Breaking Expected For New $3.6M Airport City HQ Soon
Work on a new airport administration building is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
The Berkshire Eagle reports the city is expected to select a $3.6 million bid from D.A. Sullivan & Sons to move a former doctor's building on State Road and renovate it into an administration building, with amenities that include a new restaurant, public restrooms, and offices.
The lowest bid to renovate the building vastly exceeded the initial $2.1 million estimates; however, the bid still offers substantial savings over what was initially envisioned for a new $4 million building.
How the city will pay an obligatory 5 percent of the project remains to be seen.
The city formulated a plan to construct a new space within the vacant former Northern Berkshire Family Practice building, which already sits on city-owned land in front of the airport.
The building itself was donated to the city by Berkshire Health Systems, which acquired it through the bankruptcy of the former Northern Berkshire Healthcare in 2014.
Harry Patten, the owner of airport business Turboprop East, had pledged up to $200,000 when the grant was first announced to cover the city's matching share — which, under the terms of the grant, is 5 percent. In exchange for his pledge, the city agreed to give Patten naming rights to the building.
But in a letter to the mayor this summer, Patten withdrew his pledge, as the Airport Commission became mired in controversy regarding a lease to convicted felon Alex Kelly, owner of a Bennington, Vt.-based skydiving and flight instruction businesses.
Bernard said the city is "still looking at options" for funding if Patten remains committed to withdrawing his pledge.