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With Northampton State Hospital’s fountain restoration moving ahead, officials now eye cupola

  • GORDON DANIELS<br/>N'ton. State Hospital
  • Hospital Hill / Kolmorgen<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

NORTHAMPTON — With plans to restore Northampton State Hospital’s fountain moving ahead, the Historical Commission is now on the hunt to find a reuse for an old hospital cupola that’s been in storage for several years.

The commission would like to use the cupola somewhere at Village Hill Northampton, the redevelopment taking place on the former state hospital grounds. If that’s not possible, the board will consider use somewhere else in the city or auction it off with conditions, said Sarah LaValley, the city’s conservation, preservation and land use planner.

“No matter the outcome, they agreed that getting it back to public view is a priority,” LaValley said in an email.

Meantime, the Community Preservation Committee is recommending $75,000 be provided for restoration of the cast-iron fountain as part of an effort to memorialize the historic institution. The fountain, once located outside the building known as Old Main, would be resurrected close to where it once stood in a small park to be established on the east side of Olander Drive. Signs would be installed to commemorate the former hospital and the people who lived and worked there.

The city also saved numerous other hospital artifacts, which the commission will review on a case-by-base basis to determine whether to they are worth keeping. Many of the items, such as bricks and building materials, will likely find new homes. Other items may be disposed of, including a urinal, cartons of cigarettes, bathroom fixtures and old games.


What’s your DPW doing?

Residents curious about what exactly Department of Public Works workers who drive around in those orange trucks do all day might want to check out a new feature on the department’s blog.

Dubbed “It’s Your Infrastructure,” the department plans on posting a photo and caption that depicts employees taking care of the city infrastructure.

The first installment includes two photos, one showing a Water Department employee maintaining a fire hydrant. The caption explains that the department inspects and maintains 1,860 fire hydrants before winter freezing sets in. Many of the hydrants received a new coat of paint during the maintenance.

Another photo shows crews decommissioning lagoons at the leachate treatment plant at the Glendale Road landfill.


Quit nicotine
with acupuncture

If you’ve tried everything else in an effort to stop smoking, why not take a stab at acupuncture?

To mark the 37th Great American Smokeout on Thursday, the city’s Health Department has partnered with local acupuncture businesses and practitioners to offer a free clinic where acupuncture will be given as an alternative way to break the nicotine habit.

Local practitioners Marta Martinez, Lynn Curry and Rachel Condon will offer acupuncture treatments from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Senior Center, 67 Conz St.

No appointment is necessary and the treatment is free.

The Great American Smokeout, an initiative of the American Cancer Society, is the time where smokers make a pledge to quit smoking for a day. Using acupuncture as an alternative smoking cessation technique is supported by many to help reduce nicotine cravings and lessen withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to break the habit.

For more information visit cancer.org and click on Great American Smokeout, or visit the city’s Health Department website at northamptonma.gov/healthdept.


Restaurant owners take CPR

It’s just a bit safer to eat at a downtown restaurant this fall.

That’s because 30 restaurant owners and managers recently completed a CPR defibrillator training courses offered by the city’s Business Improvement District and Fire Department.

The BID provided funding for training booklets, while fire officials provided the instruction and training props.

The initiative, proposed by Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Norris, included four-hour classes in which participants learned how to administer CPR and defibrillator equipment and received instruction on techniques for removing airway obstruction.

The BID recruited members and non-members to participate in the program, which officials said is important given the nature of the restaurant business. The program may be expanded for other businesses within the downtown BID.


DPW repairs continue

Department of Public Works crews are hard at work repairing the city’s run-down maintenance barn that houses sanders and plow trucks.

Crews are working after hours and on weekends to repair a 4-foot hole in the barn’s concrete floor and to reinforce two large hollow areas underneath the floor. Director Ned Huntley expects the hollow areas under the storage bays should be filled with concrete before Thanksgiving.

Repairs to hollow areas under the mechanic bay will take longer because of mold issues. There is so much mold under that section of the building that an outside expert is needed to help address the problem.

Enough work has already been done so that the city can now store its expensive equipment indoors rather than leaving it outside like it had to do last winter, Huntley said.

Having DPW crews make the repairs instead of putting the project out to bid will save about a year in getting the work done. The City Council gave the department $50,000 for the repair project last month.

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