The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 3, 2008

Library receives strong response from restoration designers

On September 25, the Gleason Library Building Restoration Committee held the first of two meetings that will be used to narrow the field of possible designers for the Gleason Library restoration project. Twelve applicants had responded to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) (see Mosquito, September 26) by the September 12 due date. The September 25 meeting addressed technical issues related to restoration architecture and general questions about the information contained in the applicant packages.

Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett had prepared a list of terms and definitions common to most of the applications, ranging from boom lifts to stone quoins. When a variety of questions from infra-red thermography to water testing had been adequately covered, the group moved, as committee chair Priscilla Stevens expressed it, “away from technical issues and into some more philosophical questions.” The committee addressed the value of using a large firm versus a smaller firm, with member Albert Innamorati stating that in his experience larger firms often assign “their lowest level associate to a small job” and that this is a small job.

The discussion covered a wide variety of issues including the location of the firms, the differences between publicly and privately funded restoration work and the potential value of listing an historic building on the National Register of Historic Places. The committee regrouped with Barnett reminding each member to “stick with the RFQ” as they reread the packages and rate each applicant. Barnett reiterated that when assessing an applicant, committee members use the supplied information to determine whether or not they think the firm can do this particular job. “Do you believe that they have the staffing for this job? Do they have the experience?” Once the committee ranks the applicants, further research will be done to see how well they have worked in the past. According to Barnett, “That’s where the references come in.”

The committee will meet again on October 2 when each application will be evaluated and ranked. The committee will then begin planning for site visits, interviews and reference checks for each of the top five applicants. If all goes as planned, the project designer will be selected and the fee negotiated by early November. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito