Work at DIAL/SELF's Northampton Teen Housing Project Progressing Quickly
April 2, 2019
Rendering of the new Teen Housing Project

The week prior saw the majority of the framing go up (check out their time-lapse video in the link below), as well as a $10,000 donation to the project by Greenfield Savings Bank. See link to article below for more details. Congratualtions to Phil and all the others in making this important community resource a reality.

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Holyoke School Committee & City Council Meet on Funding Middle Schools Project
February 26, 2019
High end rendering of the Chestnut Middle School

This was the first of several meetings to work out how the schools will be paid for. Todays Mass Live article provides a snapshot of the various players involved, and their positions on the future of the project.

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Gardner School Committee Approves Land Acquisition for New Elementary School
January 10, 2019
Site Plan drawing of proposed new elementary school

The preferred option is to build a new elementary school at the location for students preschool through grade four. While the City works on acquiring the land, the Massachusetts School Building Authority will be reviewing the project for State funding. For further details on the vote and the proposed project, see the linked article from The Gardner News.

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Greenfield's New Parking Garage Opened Today
November 9, 2018
Margo Jones with scissors just about to cut the ribbon.

After cutting the ceremonial red ribbon, State and local officials gathered on the Garage's top deck, where Ms. Jones and several others spoke briefly about the garage and its significance for the Greenfield community.

For further information on the ceremony, please see today's Recorder article:

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Community Input on Holyoke's Two New Public Middle Schools
October 22, 2018
JWA Team at table with community members

Neighbors, parents and students explored the proposed floor plans, site plans and design principles and shared their hopes and dreams for these important new community facilities.  The City is expected to vote on a debt exclusion plan to fund the schools in late April 2019.  For more information, email

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Small Lot Zoning in the Pioneer Valley
October 15, 2018
Small lot neighborhood from the air

An informative video on how small lot zoning in Hampshire and Franklin County is helping create more affordable housing and home ownership opportunities for community members in Massachusetts.

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Whately Officially Opens its Newly Renovated Town Hall
October 2, 2018
Building committee members and key officials cut ribbon in front of building

This important historic preservation project has once again made the town hall a center of activity with a large performance - meeting room on the second floor along with an additional small gather space on the first floor. The Whately Historical Society will also occupy space on the first floor with a newly crated Whately Historic Museum. Other improvements to the town's historic structure include a small additon to the rear of the building which provides complete handicap accessiblity with a leveled entryway and elevator to access the large hall on the second floor. Energy efficient LED lighting and a state-of-the-art HVAC system bring the building into the 21 century, with special design attention given to maintain the historic nature of the building. For more information and photos of the ceremony, visit these local news articles:

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Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Opening of Granby's East Meadow School
September 24, 2018
Official and students stand in front of ribbon just before cutting

The single-story, 68,760 square foot school building includes a new gym, new classrooms and state-of-the-art computer labs. Portions of the older East Meadow School underwent extensive renovation to complement the newer addition. Surrounded by flowering meadows in the front, and a newly designed playground area in back, the East Meadow School was completed just into time for the start of the 2018 - 2019 school year. With over 400 pre-kindergarten thru 6th grade students starting the year, teacher, parents and community members are excited about the new learning environment. Visit these links for more about the dedication ceremony and what's being said about Granby's newest educational facility.

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MSBA Gives the City of Holyoke & JWA the Go-Ahead to Design Two New Middle Schools
September 4, 2018
Kids at community design event

One on the open block adjacent to the H.B. Lawrence School and the other will replace the William R. Peck School on its existing site. Lots of ground work has already been done by the JWA team and the volunteers of the School Building Committee to get community input, with more events planned over the next eight months. Citizens of Holyoke, especially families of young Holyoke Public Schools students, are invited to participate in the design process at upcoming community meetings.  The first is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25th in the Holyoke Public Library Community Room at 6:00 PM. Ultimately the Holyoke voters will decide whether to construct two new middle school buildings in the coming spring.

"It has been more than 30 years since Holyoke has built a new school,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.  “We are extremely pleased that the MSBA has voted to allow us to build two schools for our students.  We believe these two schools will provide optimal access and space to meet our community’s needs.  Our students deserve to have world class educational facilities where they can thrive as they prepare to move onto secondary education and eventually college and careers."

Over the past three years, the Holyoke Public Schools has engaged in an extensive analysis and community process to solicit input on the structure of schools in the district, which resulted in a call for new middle school space.  “The overwhelming result was a preference for separate elementary and middle schools,” stated Dr. Stephen Zrike, Jr., Receiver/Superintendent, Holyoke Public Schools (HPS).  “We thank the MSBA for their review and approval.  Opening new middle schools is aligned with our vision of a pathway for every student, responds to community input and creates more choice for students and families.  As a district, we are excited to continue this next step of reenvisioning the middle school experience for Holyoke students.”

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Staff Work Day at Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity House
August 20, 2018
All staff picture on site

The small, single family home, designed by JWA’s own Dorrie Brooks and Molly Clark is part of PVHH’s small cluster of affordable housing at the end of Garfield Avenue in Florence.  Joined by several Valley retirees, and crew supervisor Walt Kohler, our staff spent the day putting up sheathing, caulking joints, erecting scaffolding and laying  out interior walls. For additional photos and progress on this project, follow the link below to PVHH’s facebook page. Kristian and George

Helen and Lauren

Lawson and Margo

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