The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 18, 2008


Carlisle School expects first meeting with MSBA in March

A first meeting between the Massachusetts School Building Authority and school and town officials is planned in March. The meeting will be the first one with the state agency since the Carlisle School building project made the list of projects approved for potential reimbursement late last year.

After a five-year state moratorium on state building funds, Carlisle is listed as a "feasibility invitation," meaning the state plans to work with the school and town as a team on designs for the proposed building. Currently the school expects to receive approximately a 40% reimbursement for a new building to replace the Spalding Building, rated in poor condition by the state last year, with a new elementary school building.

School Superintendent Marie Doyle, School Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman, a representative from Town Hall, (either Treasurer Larry Barton or Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie,) and representatives from the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee and the School Building Committee will make up the town team.

While waiting for the state process to begin, School Building Committee members Lee Storrs and Wendell Sykes are reviewing the state's draft guidelines for an Owner's Project Manager (OPM). A project manager is required by state law on all public projects over $1.5 million. The OPM oversees spending and adds professional oversight of construction practices on an ongoing basis.

Storrs and Sykes are working on a Request for a Proposal (RFP) for a project manager for review by Selectmen. After the Selectmen's review, the RFP will be sent to the MSBA for their review. Project manager fees, estimated at between 2.5% and 4% of the building project must be paid on an ongoing basis during the project.

The project manager will help to write a solicitation for an architect for the new school building. The architect will then work to complete preliminary conceptual designs that both the MSBA and town and school officials can accept.

After conceptual designs are ready, the town will be asked to vote on both building design and construction funds, most likely in a single vote. With the state's new procedures, after conceptual designs are complete, towns and cities have four months to vote on spending local funds for the building project. A Town Meeting vote could be a year away, based on the Building Committee's assessment. They estimate it will take several months to follow state procedures to hire the project manager and the architect before any building conceptual design work can actually begin.

2008 The Carlisle Mosquito