Friday, September 26, 2008
Gleason Restoration Committee begins applicant review
There were smiles all around at the September 18 meeting of the Gleason Library Building Restoration Committee as members expressed their pleasure at the number and quality of the applications received in response to the recently released Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Last May, Town Meeting voted $40,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to assess the cause of water damage in the older section of the library and to specify a plan to repair the damage.
The RFQ had been the first step in selecting a project designer for the project. Completed applications were due on September 12 and in the week that followed committee members began reading each of the dozen submitted applications. “This is a phenomenal response,” Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett observed, “You have gotten the best.”
The committee discussed the procedure that will be used to evaluate each application. Library Director Angela Mollet and Barnett will begin the process by checking each application to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements as set out in the RFQ. At Barnett’s suggestion, the committee agreed to continue the process with a technical meeting to help committee members understand the information that is contained in each application. “This would not be an evaluative meeting,” she emphasized. In preparation for the September 25 technical meeting, each member will read all the applications and come prepared with questions or comments about the contents.
The committee plans to meet again on October 2, when each application will be evaluated and ranked. Committee members noted that the applicant pool is particularly strong and represents a broad range of firms from national firms with several branches to local firms. According to member Bob Hilton, “There are a number of good ones here. This may be a difficult decision.”
At the October 2 meeting, the committee will assign particular members to make site visits, conduct interviews and check references for each of the top several applicants. If all goes as planned, the project designer will be selected and the fee negotiated by early November. ∆
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