The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 24, 2008

Library Building Committee selects firms to interview

On October 16, the Library Building Restoration Committee met to discuss the results of reference checks done on firms that have applied to do design work for the Gleason Library restoration project. At its October 2 meeting the committee had reviewed responses and narrowed the field from 12 firms to six. Committee member Sally Swift, Carlisle Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett and Library Director Angela Mollet then spent the following two weeks checking references on the selected firms. “There were no bombs in this group,” said Swift. “They were all good and some were excellent.”

Swift began by outlining the reference check process. The subcommittee met and split up the reference list. References for the six firms were called, and references for each firm were split among the subcommittee members using the worksheet developed by the entire committee. Swift noted that it took some work to decide which references to call from each firm’s supplied list. The subcommittee first determined which of the firm’s projects demonstrated experience most relevant to the Gleason project and then which references would best describe their work on that project. According to Mollet, “It was very telling when we determined who to call among the listed references.” Barnett added, “We had to go off trail. Often the top five references were not for relevant projects. If they mentioned Brown [University], we called many people at Brown.”

The subcommittee suggested four firms for interviews. Although Swift, Mollet and Barnett agreed that all were qualified, Barnett noted that two were standouts. Each has significant experience with both libraries and with the restoration of historic buildings. A third firm also had excellent references and related experience. However, reference checks on the fourth firm were incomplete after several attempts. The committee decided to move forward and interview three of the firms suggested by the subcommittee, holding the fourth since the reference checks were not complete.

The committee plans to conduct the interviews on October 30 and 31. Following the interviews, they will meet on October 31 to rank the applicants, after which the town will attempt to negotiate a contract with the top selection. The committee hopes to select the project designer and negotiate a fee by early November. If all goes as planned, work to diagnose the source of the water damage at the library will begin in November. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito