The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 15, 2008

Daedalus favored for school OPM

The Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC) has recommended Daedalus Projects Inc. of Boston, for the position of the Owners Project Manager (OPM) for the proposed school building project. On August 12, the Selectmen agreed with the decision. According to their proposal, “Daedalus has overseen over $200 million in successful K-12 school construction projects.” They are providing OPM services for the Willard Elementary School construction project underway in Concord.

Before the firm can be hired, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) must vote whether to endorse the choice. This may happen at an MSBA meeting in September. The MSBA requires towns to hire an OPM to coordinate and oversee design and construction during any large school building project. Town Meeting in May approved $25,000 for OPM services to help select a design firm to create schematic plans for a structure to replace the 50-year-old Spalding School Building. Limited renovation work on other school buildings may be included in the project. If the project goes forward the OPM will help oversee the construction.

Selection process

OPM proposals were received from eight companies, but two missed the deadline and were therefore not considered. A subcommittee of the SBC evaluated the candidates and on August 7 the SBC reviewed and endorsed the subcommittee’s conclusions. Daedalus scored best overall, though it did not win in every category. The SBC was also very favorably impressed with the runner-up, Joslin Lesser & Associates of Watertown.

Proposals were evaluated according to: past performance, expertise with building codes and procurement laws, proximity, management approach, personnel, capacity and current work load, green building, life cycle and cost estimating, building commissioning, financial stability, proposal quality and completeness. The top four proposals were from: URS, Joslin, Daedalus and PinnacleOne.

Interviews were conducted with these four companies, and they were evaluated according to management approach, communication skills, experience and key personnel, and the firm’s demonstrated approach to working with others. Joslin ranked highest in the interview, followed closely by Daedalus.

Barton stressed the importance of recommendations from previous clients, saying, “Anyone can write a good proposal. References are critical.” Daedalus edged out Joslin when references were checked and both were judged higher than PinnacleOne or URS.

OPM selection subcommittee members included SBC Chair Lee Storrs, SBC members Bill Fink, Wendell Sykes, Bill Risso, Bob Pauplis and School Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman. Storrs said, “We felt both [Daedalus and Joslin] had very strong teams, with a slight edge going to Daedalus.” It was noted that at Daedalus, the key personnel has experience working together as a project team. Risso said, “Daedalus seems to have mechanical and electrical [expertise] in-house.” Zimmerman noted, “Their cost estimating is very strong.”

Space needs

Space requirements will be influenced by estimated future enrollment, and the SBC and MSBA have not yet settled on an enrollment forecast (see “Enrollment projections will shape Carlisle School building project,” August 1). Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle told the group that the subcommittee quantifying space needs has been continuing “to meet and make good progress.”

Private group forms

SBC members discussed how to distribute information to residents given a lack of funds for printing or mailing. Christine Lear, a member of the SBC’s communication subcommittee, will chair a newly formed private ballot question committee that has registered with Town Clerk Charlene Hinton. According to Hinton, state regulations permit the new group to begin to raise funds and distribute information and opinion because, while there is no ballot question presently, one is expected within the next year. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito