The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 18, 2009

Four firms vie to design CCHS Master Plan

Thirteen firms have bid on the contract to create a new master plan to upgrade the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) facility. On September 9, the CCHS Master Plan Committee discussed the strengths of the proposals and chose the four firms they will interview: Design Partners, Office of Michael Rosenfeld, Inc. (OMR), Perry Dean Rogers and S/L/A/M Collaborative.

According to the document describing the charge to the committee (available online at, “The plan will identify needed repairs and show a timetable for those repairs within the overall plan. This transformative plan will have the flexibility of improving the existing facility all at once or over time.”

“We need some new thinking here, some creative, transformative thinking,” said committee member and Concord Selectman Elise Woodward, who is also a principal architect at a Boston firm. Committee member and Regional School Committee (RSC) member Jerry Wedge said, “We are looking for a visionary school here, a 21st century school.” Superintendent Diana Rigby cautioned the group, “We don’t want to build a new old school.” Principal Peter Badalament emphasized the need to prepare students for their futures.

The 13 firms that submitted proposals are: CGKV Architects Inc., Design Partnership, Drummey, Rosane Anderson Inc. (DRA), Dore & Whittier Architects, Inc., Finegold Alexander & Associates Inc., Flansburgh Associates, Inc., HMFH Architects, Inc., JCJ Architecture, Mount Vernon Group Architects, OMR, Perry Dean Rogers Partners, S/L/A/M Collaborative and Symmes, Maini and McKee Associates (SMMA). At last spring’s Town Meeting, voters approved $250,000 in funding earmarked for the CCHS master plan process.

Committee members read through each proposal and graded it on its comprehensiveness, practicality, creativity, cost-effective solutions, thoroughness, technical competence, quality of previous work, staff qualification and references. For each category, members gave four points for “highly advantageous,” three points for “advantageous,” two points for “not advantageous” and one point for “unacceptable.” Committee member and Selectman Bill Tice said the proposals were hefty, roughly 45 to 130 pages each. The firms were ranked by their final composite score and this ranking was used as a starting point for the group discussion.

In addition, the regional school district business office personnel checked on other factors for each firm, such as: past experience, prior design in school construction and site development, Massachusetts registration of principals, knowledge of Massachusetts construction laws, Department of Education and Massachusetts School Building Authority procedures, liability insurance, financial stability and knowledge of state, local and federal permitting considerations.

Interviews will take place on September 21 and 23 starting at 6 p.m. at CCHS. ∆

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