The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 5, 2010

Highland Committee clarifies stabilization project scope

The Highland Committee decided at its last meeting to select the architectural firm of Menders, Torrey and Spencer (MTS) to oversee the stabilization of the Highland Building, pending receipt of any outstanding documents. Last week, Town Administrator Tim Goddard notified the committee that all documentation for MTS is complete, so the town will enter into fee negotiation with this firm. To bring the architect and committee to agreement on the scope of work required to stabilize the building, committee member Bob Stone visited Lynne Spencer of MTS last week and reported to the committee the results of that meeting on January 28.

Stone indicated to Spencer that there is a dilemma regarding installing a permanent fire suppression system in the Highland building during the stabilization process, because the cistern for such a system is tied to the school building project; the cistern will be built as part of the school building project and will serve both the school and the Highland Building. However, if the process moves according to the committee’s plan, stabilization of the Highland Building will be completed well before the school project begins.

Fire Chief David Flannery has insisted that a fire suppression system be installed as part of the stabilization project. However, if a permanent system is built according to fire code, it will have no water source until the cistern is built. Further, a different system may be needed when the building’s use is determined and it is fully restored for that use. Stone requested that MTS’s fire protection engineer come to a committee meeting to discuss options for temporary fire protection until the building is restored and readied for use.

Committee member Alan Carpenito suggested that such a system might resemble a residential plastic pipe system that works off the one-inch pipeline leading to the existing well. This would be significantly less expensive than installing a permanent up-to-code system that is not hooked to a cistern and that may have to be torn out when the building is fully renovated. Since there will be no occupancy until the building is restored for a designated use, a temporary fire suppression system could be supplied “for peace of mind” and would not have to meet code requirements. A permanent fire protection system would be installed at such time as the building has a designated use and occupation plans.

Therefore, said Stone, other than the possible temporary fire suppression system, MTS would have no plumbing work or new electrical or HVAC systems installed until the building is restored. The scope of work for stabilization focuses instead on exterior structural repair and paint and any interior repair that is necessary to maintain the building’s structure.

The second phase of the committee’s charge, Stone said, which is to recommend future use(s) of the building, will involve a mechanical engineer to allocate space for future mechanical systems. He estimates that this will cost no more than $2,000.

The committee will also request that MTS create construction documents, with cost estimates, that show the building as fully restored in order to understand what that premium plan cost is. These plans will show the building in terms of its minimum requirements to meet all public building codes, but will not specifically design the building for a specific use. Stone and committee chair Peter Scavongelli will act as contacts for MTS.

MTS, in turn, will resubmit their fee proposal, including these new scope-of-work considerations, to Goddard by the end of this week. He will negotiate the fee with MTS. Stone said that if all goes well, the architectural firm will begin work with the committee in two weeks. The committee has scheduled its next meeting for February 11, at which time representatives from MTS will be present. The committee plans to ask Fire Chief David Flannery and Building Inspector John Luther to be present as well as School Committee members Bill Fink and Dale Ryder (who are also members of the Highland Committee), and School Building Committee chair Lee Storrs, the committee’s liaison to the building project.

The public is invited to ask questions and suggest future uses of the Highland Building by emailing ∆

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