The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 30, 2010

Celebration, but no rest for School Building Committee

The Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC) began its meeting on April 15 by serving non-alcoholic bubbly and feasting on cake. “This toast is to everybody,” said Chair Lee Storrs, “for all the help and hard work they put in. It’s been a lot of years of work.” After years of discussion and planning, a school building project of just under $20 million was approved by voters at the April 5 Special Town Meeting and Town Election on April 13.

Funding agreement. The state has committed to reimburse the town almost seven million dollars of approved project expenses. Carlisle’s Owner Project Manager (OPM) Sean Fennell sent the town’s vote certification to the Massachusetts School Building Association (MSBA). However, the MSBA has further requested the “exact language of the vote,” Fennell said, which is being sent to them. Once this requirement is satisfied and the final project funding agreement is received from the state, it must go to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) for approval.

Contacted later, Storrs said that if the funding agreement with the state, with amendments for ongoing services from HMFH and Daedalus, was not received by the April 27 BOS meeting, the SBC might “recommend the Selectmen execute the amendments upon receipt of an acceptable funding agreement from MSBA.”

Status of contracts for HMFH and Daedalus. The SBC made plans to review the contracts for the architectural firm HMFH and the Owner Project Management firm Daedalus before the Selectmen’s meeting on April 27.

Schematic design feedback. HMFH architect Arthur Duffy suggested he would like to respond to each person who has given feedback on the design of the new Spalding Building. Warnick pointed out it would be “helpful to have the suggestions all at once, organized into one list.” She suggested the committee send suggestions to Fennell who could organize the list. “We’ll try to have them by next week,” replied Storrs. Duffy said the review of the design is helpful.

Committee member Linda Vanaria said there is a need to clarify what will and will not be happening during the construction process. “There are many rumors,” she said, and she is speaking to people to try to clear up misunderstandings.

Early construction. To minimize disruption the SBC is planning to begin work on rerouting the utilities that run under the plaza this summer. Electric and gas lines will be dug up and rerouted behind the Wilkins building. Fennell provided the committee with a work schedule, showing that the bulk of the work on the plaza is planned for June 25 to August 19. Supervisor of Building and Grounds David Flannery noted the disruption the equipment would cause if the work were done while school was in session. “The noise and vibration . . . it must be done in the summer.”

Where will the kids play? The committee discussed clearing an area by the Carlisle Castle to open more play space for recess activities. Wiggins suggested forming a subcommittee to plan the space. Since some of the land is in the Historic District, Storrs said he will contact the Historic Commission to discuss use of the area.

Oil tanks under the plaza. The geotechnical firm McPhail Associates has requested documentation on the removal of two underground oil tanks, which were taken out in 1987. Former Inspector Bob Koning did a visual inspection of the soil around the tanks, Flannery said, which was all that was required at the time. No oil leakage was recorded, and McPhail has not found evidence of contamination. However, the firm suggested additional testing, said Fennell, at a cost of $9,000. “The tanks were unused for 30 years,” said Flannery. “The Board of Health signed off on it. We were removing dozens and dozens of tanks” at that time, he added. Barton offered to check the records for documentation, and Flannery said he would get in touch with Koning.

Waiting for approval. When the schematic design was submitted to MSBA, Carlisle forwarded a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE) describing the Special Education program at the school. The school has been cited for inadequate special education spaces. “The letter lists each proposed learning space and if it is an existing, repurposed, or new space,” explained Storrs in an email. Storrs said the committee has not received a response yet from the DOE.

Commissioning services. The MSBA put out a request for proposals and received bids from three firms for building commissioning services for the Carlisle School project, reported Fennell. The cost of the services will be fully funded by the MSBA.

“These services review the various systems to make sure that they were installed, started up and are being operated properly. These systems typically include electrical systems, heating and ventilation systems and their associated controls, IT, communication, fire alarm systems as well as roof and building envelop systems (i.e: window, doors, masonry, vapor barriers etc.),” explains Storrs.

Fennell will contact the state to indicate that one local firm, R.D. Kimball, is preferred by the committee. However, he noted that the MSBA will make the decision on which firm to hire. ∆

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