Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This week at the Carpenters Center

This week at the Carpenters Center, members are participating in a training class to help them contain pathogens, protect patients and perform work within active health care facilities without disrupting operations. "Best Practices in Health-Care Construction in Occupied Facilities" is a program developed by the UBC in conjunction with noted infection experts to develop carpenter skills and awareness that benefit both contractors and the facilities in which they work.

You can learn more about the program's development here. An introductory video about the program can be viewed here.

The first session for carpenters was held about a year ago in Connecticut. Since then, training sessions have been held for apprentices and journey level carpenters in different areas of New England.

Look for the program to expand and gain acceptance among safety-minded facilities who are looking to reduce risk to their patients.

Pictured: Carpenters work on creating safe work environments in active health care facilities, for example, creating a properly contained space to replace a soiled ceiling tile.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Images from grand opening

On March 16, 2010, the new Carpenters Center hosted its ribbon cutting ceremony. Nearly 400 guests were in attendance. Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer, opened up the event by welcoming guests to the Carpenters Center. Speakers Andy Silins, UBC General Secretary-Treasurer, Mayor Thomas Menino, and Governor Deval Patrick, congratulated the carpenters on their new home and training facility.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Carpenters Union opens new headquarters in Dorchester

As reported by Jon Chesto in today's Patriot Ledger:

BOSTON — New England union opens a new headquarters in Dorchester

Motorists on the Southeast Expressway are passing a new landmark on their commutes in and out of Boston: the new three-story headquarters for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

The 75,000-square-foot building’s exterior has essentially two faces: a modern wall along the highway and a more traditional cedar-paneled facade that can be seen from the neighborhood. Union spokesman Bert Durand said the mix was intentional, partly as a courtesy to the union’s residential neighbors and partly as a reflection of the union membership’s varied range of skills.

The most distinct feature is a 30-foot tall digital sign that can be seen from the expressway. The sign’s LED lights can quickly be reprogrammed to show a new image. The union is using the sign to promote the carpentry trade, as well as providing public service announcements and supporting favored political candidates.

The carpenters council relocated last month from its old headquarters on Summer Street in South Boston. The new building allowed the union to move its training facility from Brighton, as well as other operations, under one roof within the past few weeks.

The carpenters union had been looking for a new location for at least a decade, union officials said. Durand said the union also considered locations in South Boston’s marine industrial park and on Morrissey Boulevard.

The current site at 750 Dorchester Ave. was picked for several reasons, including the ample parking, visibility and easy highway access. The property is also convenient to the Red Line, as it sits between the Andrew Square and JFK/UMass stops.

The union bought the property in 2008 from an owner of Dirigo Spice for more than $5 million, although the site had fallen into disuse. The structure was originally built in the 1940s as a laundry for the Archdiocese of Boston. The old building was gutted and its second story was removed, and the carpenters used the first floor as a foundation to build a new second level and a third level.

Mark Erlich, the council’s executive secretary-treasurer, said the union spent about $19 million on construction. More than 900 union members participated in the construction project in some way, as subcontractors, apprentices or volunteers, Erlich said. “We want our members to feel like it’s their building,” he said.

To view the article online, including pictures, click here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Look Inside - The History Wall

There are various touches throughout the facility that not only highlight carpenters work but add character to the building. One such feature is the History Wall located on the second floor.

Fourteen sepia-toned photographic images, mounted on ¾” Plexiglas, hang on the walls starting at the second floor lobby and running down the hall in to the open area at the communicating stair that connects the first and second floors.

Twelve of the images are mounted on 3’x6’ panels and two images, which mark the beginning of the History Wall in the lobby, stretch across six 3’x6’ panels.

A memorial to the trade and its workers, the images date back to 1881 and run through present day, including three shots taken during the construction of the Carpenters Center.

The History Wall celebrates the membership of the Carpenters Union and the evolution of the craft through the years.