ADAMS - Berkshire Dance Theatre's (BDT) designs of moving the operation to Hoosac Street cleared the Zoning Board with unanimous approval this week, with the board's chair declaring the plan "really good for the town."
BDT board members think 5 Hoosac St., formerly Interior Alternatives, a fabric store, an ideal spot to move the 330-student nonprofit.
The studio currently functions at 21 Maple St., inside the former Notre Dame School.
"I have coveted that building [5 Hoosac St.] for years for studio space," BDT Executive Director Michelle Francesconi said in an interview after Tuesday's meeting of the Zoning Board. "We're very excited for this opportunity."
BDT's plans involve interior and exterior improvements to the space.
These include moving the handicap entrance to the rear of the building, a new heating system, bathroom installations, lighting improvements and the readying of four 1,000-squarefoot studio spaces, office space and a public lobby.
At the Maple Street space, there are three studios, each under 800 square feet.
"It was always part of the plan that we would expand at some time, and this space is perfect for our purpose," Francesconi said.
Zoning Board members were in favor of BDT's designs.
"You guys have been here forever and I think this is a nice building for you and a nice setup you've got," board Chairman Michael Mach said. "I love the [location], and love the idea of the theater there."
Francesconi said a campaign to solicit donations from the public to enable the work will begin in roughly three weeks. Individual sponsors who then could have studio space named in their honor is one fundraising mechanism the group is considering, she said.
The Hoosac Street building is now used for storage and is owned by Bayliss Holding LLC. A lease agreement is to be established between the two parties. Bayliss purchased the building in August of 2012.
Francesconi also mentioned future senior programming collaborations with the Adams Council on Aging, given the building's proximity to the Adams Visitors Center home of the Council.
The Zoning Board's decision is now subject to a 14-day decision notice followed by a 20day appeal period.
In other business at Tuesday's meeting, the board approved Jennifer and Steven Alibozek's application to keep backyard chickens at 19 Dubis St.
The family currently has 14 chickens there but the approval was contingent upon them limiting that number to 8 within 45 days. Some neighbors had written letters to object the move, but Mach said he found no concerns on a site visit so long as manure is removed weekly.