Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle Newspaper
After overcoming a staggering list of zoning setbacks, securing financing, parking variances and water pressure issues, the Bookless Building development project has now been given a green light.
The 133-year-old building has been mostly vacant for the past 50 years and was threatened to be destroyed after another local business pulled out of development. Dr. McManmon, a Lee native for the past 26 years, plans on restoring the building back to it’s original facade. By preserving the buildings history he will give back to the downtown area of Lee, Massachusetts, a town that the Berkshire Center has been located in for the past 26 years.
The Berkshire Center is part of the College Internship Program, a national program for college age students with Asperger’s syndrome, ADD and other learning differences, whose main focus is developing social, academic, career and life skills necessary to attend college or join the workforce. Since it’s start, the College Internship Program has grown to four locations nationally, and supports about 125 students.
The CIP Berkshire Center will reside in the upper two floors, while the Good Purpose Gallery, An art gallery founded by McManmon, will be housed on the street level, along with the previously located businesses.