The Berkshre Eagle’s newsroom in Pittsfield will get a contemporary makeover

PITTSFIELD — Working in a twentieth century newsroom positioned in a nineteenth century constructing was not sensible for The Berkshire Eagle in 2022.

So with its lease on the Clock Tower Enterprise Heart set to run out in March, The Eagle’s administration determined to provide the world the place many of the newspaper’s personnel are housed a totally fashionable facelift.

The result’s an up to date newsroom appropriate for the twenty first century that’s positioned in the identical area because the previous one, which The Eagle has occupied since shifting to the Clock Tower constructing in 1990.

“The purpose was to provide it a recent, mild, ethereal really feel,” stated designer Zack Sosne of Bramble Home, a design agency in Nice Barrington.

On Thursday, greater than 200 individuals got here to The Eagle to attend an open home designed to provide the general public their first take a look at the brand new area.

“I feel they’re implausible,” stated Judy Storie, of Pittsfield, in regards to the renovations. Storie was conversant in the previous newsroom, having labored on The Eagle’s copy desk for 39 years earlier than retiring in 2008.

“All the pieces is so open,” she stated.

President and Writer Fredric D. Rutberg chats with Sally-Jan Heit, of Nice Barrington, throughout an open home at The Berkshire Eagle’s newly renovated places of work in Pittsfield on Thursday.

The undertaking, which took a few yr from conception to completion, is the primary full renovation of The Eagle’s newsroom for the reason that newspaper moved to the Clock Tower constructing from the previous Eagle constructing on Eagle Road, and the primary main change for the reason that late Nineties when the newsroom was reworked to convey the promoting division down from the constructing’s second flooring.

Gone are the vertical rows of metallic cubicles that served as desks; the big, clunky submitting cupboards that held all method paper information and various bric-a-brac; and the worn-out carpet that had lined the ground since The Eagle had moved in 32 years in the past.

Of their locations are roomy workspaces for reporters and editors and promoting representatives, a brand new convention room titled “The Shed” — so named due to its custom-made barn doorways — a small break room, new workplace areas, {custom} woodworking, crops and polished concrete flooring.

The previous, stained carpeting was troublesome to take away in some locations. “We had to make use of business strippers,” stated contractor Eric Taylor of Restorations Inc. in Hinsdale. The concrete had been positioned beneath the carpeting and was polished by development crews.

“The carpeting, clearly, had been there for 30 years,” stated Berkshire Eagle President and Writer Fredric D. Rutberg. “It was well past funky. Somebody recommended polished concrete flooring. It was recommended as a design characteristic, and everybody stated it will look nice.”

The thought for renovating the newsroom coincided with the expiration of The Eagle’s lease with Clock Tower Companions LLC of North Adams, which owns the Clock Tower Enterprise Heart.

From left, Managing Editor of Content material Engagement Lindsey Hollenbaugh; Digital Content material Creator, format designer and duplicate editor Jessica Gamari; and Digital Merchandise Supervisor for Information Meggie Baker chat with guests throughout an open home at The Berkshire Eagle’s newly renovated places of work in Pittsfield on Thursday.

“Given all that’s occurred on this planet with places of work, we don’t want all of the cupboard space that we had earlier than,” Rutberg stated. “We don’t have miles and miles of information, all these issues that are actually saved electronically had been saved bodily.”

“We realized that we might give again the workplace area, then take that cash and throw it again into making the facelift which hadn’t been completed in years,” stated Rutberg, who declined to say how a lot the undertaking value.

“We consider, and I feel precisely, that if we need to be a twenty first century newspaper we’ve got to appear like one,” Rutberg stated, “to make the present newsroom into one thing that’s extra functionally conducive to the best way individuals work in the present day.

“That was actually the driving drive,” he stated. “We put some social areas in to let individuals transfer round a little bit bit extra.”

Sixteen native companies labored on the undertaking, and their work contributed to a number of the newsroom’s distinctive options, Rutberg stated. The work contains {custom} woodworking by New England Creations from Nice Barrington, and {custom} metallic archways by Whitco in Adams.

“We could not have completed it with out plenty of native contractors that we used, and a number of the distinctive parts that we added,” stated Gary Lavariere, The Eagle’s chief income officer.

“We’re actually proud that we had been in a position to do that for our staff, that we might convey them a way more fashionable and up to date area.”

Sosne, whose youthful brother, Ben, is the manager director of the Berkshire Innovation Heart, is a graduate of the New York Faculty of Inside Design. Sosne labored in New York Metropolis from 2005 to 2018 earlier than returning to his native Nice Barrington and opening his personal agency along with his spouse, Alison. The renovation of The Eagle’s newsroom is his first main business undertaking.

“The Eagle’s been in tough form for a very long time so we mainly needed to clear it out after which make it an open, ethereal atmosphere,” he stated. “We needed to work with the weather that we had. One of many primary issues was eliminating the previous carpet and seeing what we might do with the concrete flooring. The large a part of that was sprucing the concrete.”

Altering the work stations from a vertical to horizontal format labored finest with the area that was there.

“One of many huge obstacles in that place is that columns are throughout,” Sosne stated. “Cubicles are type of out of the image now. We simply did loads of finding out on how different firms are doing their layouts. Additionally, we had been in a position to do it inside our funds.”

All of those new options had been on show throughout the open home on Thursday, and so they all obtained reward from these in attendance.

“It’s very up to date and fashionable I’d say,” stated Lisa Turner, of Pittsfield. “I believed it was spectacular.

Pressman Neil Wesley chats with guests in regards to the printing press throughout an open home at The Berkshire Eagle’s newly renovated places of work in Pittsfield on Thursday. 

“Once I walked in, I stated, ‘Whoa!” stated Ron Kujawski, The Eagle’s garden columnist, who was viewing the up to date area for the primary time.

Jack O’Brien, of Pittsfield, who labored within the Eagle press room for 40 years earlier than retiring in 1995, stated he “acquired misplaced” strolling round within the new area. He appreciated The Eagle’s new press, which had been put in final winter.

“I’m impressed by the press, no pun supposed,” he stated.

He additionally appreciated the brand new newsroom.

“It’s nice,” stated O’Brien, who turns 86 this month. “Everyone appears to have their very own little area of interest.”

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