The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 8, 2009

Article 11:

Carlisle School building project moves ahead

With only one vote against, Article 11 allowing expenditure of $450,000 to begin planning the Carlisle School building project easily passed. Lee Storrs, chair of the Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC), noted that the funding will provide engineering of a schematic design and hiring of an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) as a first step toward a $20 million project. Forty percent of the project, or $8 million, is expected to be provided by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), reducing Carlisle’s cost to $12 million.

Storrs noted the first phase will include a design of the layout of the new building to replace Spalding, including floor plan, elevations, views and what it will look like when complete. The project manager will oversee the architects and provide independent cost estimates. In addition to replacing Spalding, estimated to cost $12 million, $8 million will provide repairs and repurposing of other buildings. “We believe we can address all the needs of the school and stay below that $20 million,” said Storrs. He noted a number of reasons the project should go forward now, including a competitive market in which bids are coming in 15% to 20% below estimates.

The Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee (FinCom) and Long-Term Capital Requirements Committees each expressed unanimous support. Dave Model, Chair of the FinCom, noted only 11 of 423 applications to Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) had been approved for the schematic design phase, and congratulated the SBC for “shepherding Carlisle to the front of the line.”

Nancy Kronenberg of Wolf Rock Road expressed concerns with the quality of public buildings in town. Storrs noted the expertise of the SBC and pointed to the OPM as an important overseer of building and design quality.

Bonnie Miskolczy of Cross Street asked about LEED certification for use of green technology and was assured that sustainable methods would be used even if certification is not pursued due to cost.

James Bohn of Concord Street wondered if planned future long-term costs of building maintenance would be rolled into the project and was assured they would.

Jim Elgin of East Riding Drive expressed doubt that the state would come through and said, “If it’s the right project and right time we should go ahead, not because of the reimbursement.” Storrs assured him an agreement would be signed with MSBA before any further action took place and that payment would be immediate as costs are realized.

Kerry Kissinger of Elizabeth Ridge Road was told that a decision had been made not to include the Highland Building as part of this project, as the issues are quite separate.

Voters were still at microphones as the moderator determined the discussion had run its course and called for a vote. If all goes as planned, the SBC will return to Town Meeting next year with a request for building funds. The project could be completed by fall 2012. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito