Sunday, April 15, 2012

Amherst College upkeep continues

Pratt Field panorama

 Green green grass of home (at least the color will stay the same)

One of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation continues its new construction renovations boom as Amherst College plans to overhaul venerable, stately Pratt Field, located on the gateway to downtown Amherst, although set off by a black wrought iron gate.
 Rt 9 side of Pratt Field: guarded by same style gate that protects Dickinson family plot

The $12.5 million renovation, courtesy of a handful of Anon donors, will start this coming Fall and be completed by the Fall of next year.  Perhaps the only surprise for a college steeped in tradition is the move to transform the plush playing field into artificial turf.
 The track will shift slightly down to better align with ornate gates

New viewing stands will push back towards bike path.  New press box (for dwindling supply of reporters)

No word if Woodside Ave will reopen at the entryway to Pratt Field,  closed by the Amherst Select Board after the state renovated the historic bridge
Meanwhile, almost contiguous with Pratt Field located directly on busy Rt 9 the College will go before the Amherst Planning Board on May 2nd for a routine rubber stamp to their request for doubling the occupancy from a one family to a duplex for this home they recently purchased at  96 Northampton Road (Rt 9).
96 Northampton Road.  Yet another yellow house expansion

In spite of being a tax exempt educational institution, Amherst College is still the number one taxpayer in town.  For instance, the newly renovated Lord Jeff Inn and the 9-hole Amherst Golf Course are for-profit businesses, so they are on the tax rolls.   But mainly because of all the houses Amherst College owns and rents to professors, who have a reputation for not partying.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm still not sure why the Woodside bridge was renovated if it was only going to be closed off the instant the work was complete. More squandered state money. At least the college spends private funds.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 10.34. What was the point of renovating the bridge and then closing it. The bridge should be re-opened.

Ed said...

It would avoid having to go out onto those messy intersections with South Pleasant Street -- improve pedestrian safety and probably reduce air pollution too.

Was there ever an environmental impact study done on the consequences of closing the bridge? If not, they gotta do one.... (By law.)

Anonymous said...

Um, no they don't.

Anonymous said...

11:17: i wonder why you think the bridge should be reopened if you don't know the reason behind it being closed.

Anonymous said...

Ed, which law are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

And why do you presume to think I don't know why it was closed?

Anonymous said...

well, do you think you know?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:57, do you know why it was closed? I don't. But whatever the reason, it was hardly cost efficient to build the new bridge and then immediately close it. If the previous bridge was old and unsafe it could have been removed and the road barricaded permanently without a new bridge to nowhere being built.

Anonymous said...

Amherst College should assist with the demotition of the house across from their fields on Route 9- who is the current owner?

It's one of many eyesores that need to be addressed in town.

Anonymous said...

oh, so you think you know about cost efficiency now, too? i think amherst college has a pretty good handle on that.

are you saying that if the bridge is not used immediately after renovations then it was not cost efficient to renovate it?

i'm just asking, because i don't think you have a clue about what you are discussing here, and it is entertaining to see what clueless people post.

Anonymous said...

how will i know an eyesore when i see one?

Anonymous said...

Larry, either Blogger or Google ate my previous post so if this is a duplicate please remove. Anyway---re anon 1:34, this thread's bridge discussion, as I understand it, centers not on someone's idea of "cost efficiency" but rather on the wisdom of replacing an old bridge (which I am told was in daily use) with a brand new one that has apparently never been driven over. Closed for a decade or more. Even in Massachusetts terms that's pretty dumb.

And if your only entertainment consists of snidely calling people 'clueless' you really ought to get out more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for informing me as to what this discussion is about.

Well, I mean I see that the first two people wanted to make it about "the wisdom" of replacing the bridge. I didn't bring up the idea of cost efficiency. And neither did Mr. Kelley.

Larry's original post doesn't imply that that's the way the discussion should go, either. Simply a list of recent Amherst College upkeep projects.

But, I'm sorry, what are we talking about, mister?

Oh, and do YOU know why it was renovated, why it is closed? Or are you just here to tell me what I should be talking about?

LarryK said...

If memory serves the bridge was replaced because it was dangerous, both to auto traffic on it and to cyclist on the bike path below.

It was never reopened because the neighbors got used to it being closed and demanded the town make sure it stayed that way. One of them is a child care center and they used the old, "safety of children" routine.

Anonymous said...

Larry, it sounds like you think it should be reopened?

LarryK said...

I do.

Anonymous said...

Well, that does sound kind of kooky, because there are child care centers on major roads, and one seldom hears about accidents with cars and kids at child care centers. There should never be a kid in the street without an adult no matter where you are it seems, so, that doesn't seem like a good reason to keep it closed.

I think i'm going to "google earth" that bridge right now!

Anonymous said...

it's not the "calling people clueless" part that's entertaining, it's seeing what clueless people post that's entertaining... nitwit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:39, we had no idea you were so finely nuanced.