Friday, February 15, 2008
Carlisle School, state, begin building project talks
Town and Carlisle School officials met with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) in January about the next steps for the school building project. The agency stated Carlisle is likely to receive about a 40% state reimbursement for the project, according to School Building Committee (SBC) Chair Lee Storrs.
Storrs said the state indicated the school's existing Master Plan, completed by HMFH architects two years ago, is a good starting point for design work. He said the state recognizes that Carlisle and other communities did extensive planning and design work during the five-year building reimbursement moratorium.
As part of its long-term strategy, the Building Committee worked extensively to have the Master Plan ready when state funds resumed. As the MSBA meets with schools on the potential reimbursement list, the state is looking closely at schools that already have designs in hand, according to School Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman. She said it is also clear the state is looking for an indication of which towns show a commitment to going forward with the project.
The project is for a new building to replace the Spalding Building, rated in poor condition by the state, with a new elementary school building. Limited renovations to some of the other school buildings are also planned.
To streamline the reimbursement process, the new MSBA wants to consolidate work. Carlisle is expected to add the cost of upcoming school roof replacements to the building project. Zimmerman has also sent bills for design and construction of the school's new heating boilers, installed last year, to the MSBA for potential reimbursement since the moratorium is ended.
The School Building Committee is working on documents for the MSBA to include a certificate of compliance, a list of the local officials involved in the project, enrollment, birth rate and town building permit data. After documents are complete, the town expects to sign a Feasibility Study Agreement with the MSBA within the next three months. After the agreement is signed, an Owner's Project Manager can be hired.
Storrs said the school expects to request between $250-300,000 for a project manager and the feasibility study at a Town Meeting later this year. During the study MSBA plans to work with the school and town as a team on designs for the building. If HMFH, architects of the Master Plan, is not selected as the architect, new architects will be sought through a designer selection panel.
Architects will then work with the team to complete schematics, which are partial building designs. The study process is expected to take about three to six months in a best-case scenario. After schematic designs that both MSBA and town and school officials can accept are finished, the team will sign off on the plan.
The town will then be asked to vote on both building design and construction funds in a single vote. With the state's new procedures, after plans are complete, towns and cities have four months to vote on spending local funds for the project. If voters agree to the project, once the project begins Carlisle will submit bills to the state and be reimbursed on an ongoing basis.
The initial team who visited the MSBA are: Selectman Tim Hult, Treasurer Larry Barton, School Committee Chair Nicole Burkel, School Superintendent Marie Doyle, Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman, Building Committee Chair Lee Storrs and member Christy Barbee, State Representative Cory Atkins, and a representative from State Senator Susan Fargo's office. In January Lee Storrs took over as chair of the Building Committee from Christy Barbee, who will remain as a member.
The Building Committee will give a presentation on the school project Thursday, February 28, at 11 a.m. at Town Hall's Clark Room. The talk is sponsored by the Carlisle School Association.
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