The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 18, 2010

SBC irons out details of summer utility line project

Bidding for the early site work on the Carlisle School campus was expected to start on June 16, the Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC) learned at the June 10 meeting. The goal is to move all utility lines from under the plaza to behind the buildings. The work includes burying an underground tube for electrical service, called a “ductbank,” behind the Robbins and Wilkins Buildings, laying gas lines, and installing utility meters.

Carlisle’s Owner Project Manager Sean Fennell, of Daedalus, Inc. passed out a schedule. The summer work contract will be awarded by July 14, with work beginning the next day. The disruptive activities are scheduled to be finished on August 31, before school starts, said Fennell. “They will have six weeks to get it into the ground,” he said. However, the entire contract will not be completed by August 31. “The electrician can’t work until the empty ductbank is in the ground.”

Ledge, ledge and more ledge

Arthur Duffy, of HMFH Architects, discussed problem areas behind the buildings, where they want to bury the utility lines, because of ledge. Behind the Grant and Corey Buildings, he added, there is “much work to do,” including moving a stone wall. Approximately 100 cubic yards of material needs to be excavated. The spot they originally picked behind the Grant Building does not have enough ledge-free area to lay the gas and electric lines, which must be buried a minimum of five feet apart, he said. As a result, the gas line will be moved closer to the property line shared with the Congregational Church. Some areas may require blasting, which he said “is less noisy” than using heavy equipment. However, blasting requires up-front preparation, including notification to abutters, and a survey of existing buildings.

In preparation for writing the construction contract, Duffy asked if there were any special labor programs in Carlisle, such as the inclusion of minorities. The committee confirmed that there were no special requirements. Storrs agreed to be the contact for the “awarding authority.”

The committee discussed “liquidated damages,” to be charged to the contractor if certain milestones are not reached. “Let’s talk about this,” said Fennell. “Worst case is unforeseen problems or an inept job… He will have to do work around the owner’s schedule, outside of school hours.” Fennell suggested after-school work hours beginning at 3:30 p.m. to whatever the town’s evening limit would be. For damages, Fennell suggested $150,000, or $1,000 a day, for phase 1.

Duffy said the committee should determine a location of a field office. “Where will the porta-potty go?” asked Fink. Storrs replied, “Inside the fenced-in area.”

New electric lines in October

Plans call for switching to the new utility lines after school starts in September. “It’s complicated,” Fennell explained. “We have to make sure the power is dead before switching.” After the electrical lines are pulled through the ductbank, the school will go through a “total shut down” of electricity, noted SBC member and School Building and Grounds Supervisor David Flannery. Duffy told the committee that NSTAR “should have no problem doing their end of it over Columbus Day weekend.”

Gas lines

SBC Chair Lee Storrs asked Duffy about the status of the gas lines. “The gas company is on board with installing the gas line over the summer,” Duffy replied. Fink asked, “By this time next year will we be using new gas lines?” Duffy replied, “Yes, and no.” The Corey and Wilkins Buildings will be using the new gas lines, but not the Grant and Robbins Buildings. “We will do those during the main building project,” he explained, because their lines are not under the “footprint” of the new building site.

Gas meter consolidation debated

Duffy advised that they “not install gas meters at this point,” but “approach the gas meter installation as part of the main building project.” He talked about the pros and cons of consolidating gas meters, relocating gas meters and running additional gas lines. He asked Flannery if he cared whether there was a single meter or multiple meters. Flannery preferred multiple gas meters. “It’s helpful to track the efficiency of a building,” replied Flannery, who thought fewer meters might be an issue with the Energy Task Force, which is studying the energy utilization of town buildings.

Coordinating summer activities

Flannery said that he will draw up a monthly calendar to show usage of the campus in the summer. “We’ll get that laid out so when we award the contract and know when excavation starts” they will be aware of who is using the campus. Teachers will be using the buildings in August, said SBC member Bill Fink and Flannery said that the preschool is used all summer. The staging area for the summer work will be alongside the preschool and a temporary fence is planned, said Duffy.

In addition, construction will be taking place at the Highland Building during the summer, noted Flannery. He said the Highland contractor will need an access path on the north side by the Brick Building’s ramp area.

HMFH Architect Laura Wernick noted that once the main construction project is underway in 2011, summer activities normally held at the school “will all have to be elsewhere.” ∆

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