Pittsfield Secures MSBA Approval for New School

Mayor Bianchi is pleased to announce that the City of Pittsfield has secured the Massachusetts School Building Needs Authority, Division of the Treasurer’s Office, approval for the new comprehensive high school which will house academic programs and career technical education programs at the Taconic High School campus. The MSBA unanimously voted this morning to support the project.

Mayor Bianchi gives his sincerest thanks to the members of the School Buildings Needs Committee for their years of dedicated work. Today’s MSBA unanimous vote in support of the new school demonstrates the State’s faith in the mission and design of the new school.

“The comprehensive high school will be more than just a new facility.  It will represent an improved educational model for Pittsfield.  This new model will tie into the initiatives at the Berkshire Innovation Center and will be complimented by relevant curriculum at Berkshire Community College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.” stated Mayor Daniel Bianchi

Bianchi added, “My vision is that Pittsfield will play an important role in the life science industry by providing high quality manufactured materials. Earlier this year, we took a critical step in securing $9.7 million from the Massachusetts Life Science Center for the construction of the Berkshire Innovation Center. The new comprehensive high school will provide the kind of curriculum that will create the foundation for a highly qualified life science workforce for the future.”

State Treasurer Steven Grossman commented that the new school is not just an opportunity for Pittsfield but a regional opportunity as well.  Pittsfield is a leader in Berkshire County and the new school will continue to drive economic development for the City. An opinion which is shared by Mayor Bianchi, “It is imperative for the success of the high school that, as a community, we recognize future employment needs of our businesses throughout Berkshire County. We have to complement those needs with a state of the art 21st Century educational experience from high school through higher education.” Grossman also added his appreciation for the tremendous work completed by Pittsfield in order to secure support for the new school.

“The MSBA strongly supported the finalized proposed project today.” Superintendent McCandless said, “Today is the culmination of years of hard work.  To have been able to form a partnership with the Mayor, the MSBA, State Treasurer Grossman, City Councilor Amuso, and Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier allowed us to ultimately put forth the best possible school design.  The partnership may have taken time to form, but ultimately it allowed for a better investment for the commonwealth and a better investment for Pittsfield.”

City Councilor Amuso, also chairman of the School Building Needs Committee, expressed her thoughts on the news, “This has been a very long process.  We have forged strong partnerships and worked well with the state. Because of this cooperation, we have now have the best project for the City.  I am looking forward to the next design stage so we can continue to move Pittsfield forward.”

BCC President Ellen Kennedy said, “This has been collaborative effort of many who want the best possible educational and career opportunities for Pittsfield students. The MSBA funding is a stamp of approval from the Commonwealth. Berkshire County wins with this decision.”

Representative Farley-Bouvier commented, “It’s a great day for the City of Pittsfield. This is a story of partnership and persistence.  The City, the School Department and the MSBA have worked hard over several years to come to an agreement on an educational plan and a schematic design in which to carry that plan out.  I am grateful to Superintendent McCandless and his team for their outstanding work in meeting the demanding deadlines on complex issues and to Councilor Amuso for her steadfast leadership through the years. I also want to thank Mayor Bianchi for all of his support and dedication.  We now move forward in further public outreach.  We are looking forward to robust community discussions in the coming months as a vote of the City Council approaches.”

The Massachusetts School Building Needs Authority is now looking forward to the construction phase of the project. Pending this movement, the MSBA is projecting that the new school will be ready for students in the fall of 2018.

McCandless added, “It is exciting to hear that there is a timeline in which we can see the completion of Pittsfield’s new comprehensive high school.”