Archive for The view from my window
The mood here at the Book Center was bright and ebullient yesterday, despite the damp weather. Book Center staff, board, volunteers and special guests gathered to formally break ground on this building expansion project. Technically, the ground had already been broken several weeks before (as this blog can attest). But every great project deserves a celebratory kick-off, and this one was lovely.
We gathered in the Book Center’s Great Hall at noon, and paraded out through the Yiddish Writers Garden, past the pond, and down to the apple orchard in a festive procession with music by the Freylekh Valley Orkestr (led by our own Vice President of Education, Hankus Netsky). The hard-hatted crowd then perched on benches under a white tent to hear inspired and inspiring words from four very important people: founder and president Aaron Lansky; board chair, Lief Rosenblatt, founding board member and former board chair, Penina Glazer; and vice president, Lou Cove. At the appropriate moment, no less than 16 shovels went into the soil to make the groundbreaking official.
The sun is shining, the wind is blowing and there’s a remote control dirt packer right outside my window! Who knew there was such a thing?
Spring has most definitely sprung here in the Pioneer Valley, and amidst the riotous blossoming there is much activity. Dietz Construction has arrived to dig up and divert some underground drainage piping so that they can put in the new access road. The truth is, the digging has been going on for days but those of us whose offices are eye-level with all the action have not been able to discern the purpose until today. As a small crane lowered a huge cement cylinder into the big hole back where the loading dock used to be, one of my coworkers speculated out loud that perhaps the Book Center was finally installing that hot tub we’ve been asking for? But no. It’s all about drainage, at this point.
Dirt, dirt and more dirt – where there used to be apple trees and gently sloping lawns. At the moment, that’s the view from my office. There are backhoes parked outside my window ready to roar into action and an army of robins feasting on the worms that were uncovered when the grass was stripped away. This early stage of the construction process at the Book Center is like early spring in New England: all promise and anticipation but not much to look at. Change, however, is in the air. Paul Hursty, field manager for Kelleher Construction, is striding amongst the robins, assessing progress and planning next steps. And signs of spring are everywhere. By this time next week, the view from my window might be entirely different.