Friday, December 14, 2007
Carlisle looks to MSBA for next steps in school building request
Now that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has included the Carlisle School renovation proposal on a list of projects being considered for partial reimbursement, the school is waiting to hear details of how the MSBA will proceed. School Building Committee Chair Christy Barbee said she believes the MSBA will set up a meeting with school and town officials this winter to discuss the process of moving forward the proposal to replace the 50-year-old Spalding Building.
The state's four-year moratorium on assistance to school building projects ended in July, and the reorganized MSBA is developing new procedures for this first round of applications. The MSBA says it will work closely with school districts, including involvement in the feasibility study and designs for any proposed building project.
At the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting on December 5, CSC member Michael Fitzgerald warned against too much optimism at this point. "I don't mean to be a wet blanket," he said, but predicted that of the 83 schools on the MSBA list, and with a limited amount of money ($500 million) to award, "some projects may not go to the next level." He noted the school still needs to determine if the MSBA will accept the school's master building plan or instead request a new one be done, a cost the town would have to bear.
Owners Project Manager
According to Barbee, one of the next tasks for her committee will be to draft a Request for Proposal to hire an Owners Project Manager (OPM) to help oversee any school building project that is approved by Town Meeting. A set of guidelines for the OPM is being drafted by MSBA, she said.
Barbee hopes to find an OPM who will offer advice on operating and life-cycle costs while reviewing the building designs, in order to avoid future maintenance issues.
Operating costs were unusually high with the school's last building project, the Waste Water Treatment Facilty, and the plant had to be modified later after inefficiencies in temperature regulation and ventilation were encountered. To ensure that any new building is designed for economical operation, Barbee said that with future construction, "we are going to be pretty vigilant."
Superintendent Marie Doyle said that making the MSBA list is the "biggest news. We are absolutely delighted."
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