The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 2, 2010

Carlisle School Building Committee gears up for Town Meeting

The proposed new building would link the Corey and Wilkins Buildings
(Plan by HMFH architects)

Carisle School Building Committee (SBC) members are checking over last minute details and looking ahead before they present their school renovation project to voters at the Special Town Meeting on Monday, April 5.

On March 25 the committee discussed whether the $100,000 remaining unspent from the $450,000 authorized last year for schematic designs could be rolled over into the next phase of the project. They decided to double check prior to April 5 with Town Administrator Tim Goddard and with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). SBC Chair Lee Storrs later said, “I have reviewed the vote language from last year’s authorization and it appears to allow us to pay for either schematic design or project management. While schematic design is complete, project management will continue in the next phase.”

Summer site preparation

HMFH Architect Arthur Duffy proposed the committee create an “early bid package” to get a headstart on construction during the summer. Utility rerouting projects are disruptive, he noted, but could be done while students are not on campus. He suggested the electrical feed, the gas service and some other services could be rerouted from under the plaza to the back of the buildings. “It’s relatively simple,” he said. “It makes sense to do it because the gas lines would be hard to work around” if left under the plaza during the construction phase, he added.

Duffy urged the committee to “get the ball rolling” by contacting NSTAR, KeySpan and Verizon. Storrs noted, “Utilities march to the beat of their own drum. They are not under anyone’s control so it makes sense to get them in earlier.”

Carlisle School Facilities Supervisor David Flannery agreed that most of the utilities – water, sewer, electric, phone, fire alarm and gas – run under the plaza. Duffy said that there will be some ledge encountered as they come along behind the Corey Building. He said most of the area behind the buildings is free of ledge down to five feet. “The sewer line has many branches under the plaza,” he added. SBC member Ingo Szegvari noted the Department of Environmental Protection “would like us to take a further look at getting the sewer line away from the well.”

SBC member Bill Risso asked Flannery if the school will be allowed to “occupy the new building before the cistern and the fire alarm system is installed?” Flannery, who is also Carlisle’s Fire Chief, told him they would not.

Duffy indicated that the architects would prefer a go-ahead to start arranging the summer work. However, the committee declined to make any commitments until after the town vote. “If we do this work,” asked Barton, “and the vote fails, how do we pay for it?” SBC member Don Rober added that when the vote is completed and “when the money drops we can run with it.” Reached later Storrs said,“The architects indicated that while it would be preferable to get authorization before the town vote, if we can give them authorization relatively soon after the vote, they felt that they could prepare an early work package to allow the utility relocation this summer. If the town approves the project this would be one of the first issues we would discuss and vote on.”

Schematic design feedback

SBC member Robert Wiggins said he has been gathering feedback on the design and will turn over the comments to the design committee and the architects. The HMFH architect replied, “I’m eager to hear what you say about it.” Reached later, Wiggins explained the plans had been reviewed with an eye for the details like janitorial closets. He said David Flannery has given him feedback as well as the teachers. Wiggins collected and organized the comments which were then sent on to HMFH.

Bill payment

The SBC voted to recommend payment of $3,496 to McPhail Associates, Inc. for the completion of the environmental site assessment. McPhail, based in Cambridge, specializes in geotech and environmental engineering. They were hired in the fall to evaluate the soil under the plaza. Reached later Storrs said their total cost was $14,491, which is close to their estimate of $14,500.

MoreTown Meeting information

The Carlisle Kid’s House has agreed to provide free child care in the Carlisle School exercise room during Special Town Meeting on April 5.

After the building projects votes, the Annual Town Meeting on May 10 will address the town’s operating budget and other Warrant items. Candidates will run for local offices during Annual Town Election on May 18. ∆

Carlisle School building project information

Mosquito articles describing the project are available in the online archive at A short list of relevant articles includes:

“Forum spotlights Carlisle School building project,” by Cynthia Sorn, March 19.

“Why a Carlisle School building project now?” by Cecile Sandwen, March 5.

“Carlisle School’s Spalding Building – renovate or rebuild?” by Helen Lyons, October 17, 2008.

“Enrollment projections will shape Carlisle School building project,” by Helen Lyons, August 1, 2008.

Editorials relate to the school project both this week and last. Building plans and the 2006 Facilities Master Plan are available at ∆

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