Friday, August 13, 2010
Highland project rebid moves ahead, July 27
The Highland Committee took a stab at some pressing issues during its July 27 meeting, but due to a reduced number of members present, many questions remained unresolved. Committee member Nathan Brown led the meeting in Chair Peter Scavongelli’s absence. Foremost on everyone’s mind was finalizing the dates for re-bidding the building stabilization project. (See below.)
The committee agreed that the bid schedule needed to be adjusted to give more time for contractors to respond. In addition, some of the requirements, including extending the project from 12 to 20 weeks, have been eased to attract more bids. When the project was advertised last spring, just a single bid was received. Committee member John Ballantine said that he would like to give contractors three weeks to respond once they receive the bid package. Brown asked everyone on the committee to review the bid documents and said he would be in contact with Town Administrator Tim Goddard about the bid dates.
Contacted later by email, Brown said that the current target date is to have bid documents available by mid- August. However, he said the schedule is flexible. “We really want to hear from the school committee and parents before committing” to the schedule, he explained. “We are completely open to feedback and will rework things if we need to.”
Pre-school drop-off affected
The committee discussed the impact the Highland Building stabilization project will have on the Carlisle School, particularly on preschool students and on teacher parking. Director of Student Support Services Karen Slack had attended the previous meeting on July 21 and explained that Carlisle Preschool parents use the circular driveway in front of the Highland Building as a drop-off and pick-up area. Parents drop their children off, said Slack, and by having a “line of sight” to the preschool door they can watch their children enter the building. During the stabilization project the driveway and an approximately 20-foot perimeter will be fenced off for a few months and inaccessible.
As a solution, Ballantine reported that he has started a dialogue with the Congregational Church about using their parking lot as an alternative drop-off area. He added that a path would need to be cleared through the stone wall that borders the property. “I’ve contacted them, but the Selectmen asked me to hold off,” he said. He explained a legal agreement between the town and the church needs to be drawn up. Ballantine said he will follow up with the Selectmen. Last year’s Annual Town Meeting authorized using $445,000 in Community Preservation Funds to stabilize the building and transferred control of the Highland Building from the School Committee to the Selectmen.
Teacher parking may be affected
Committee member Mary Storrs noted that construction parking is a concern. Currently teachers park along School Street, giving them easy access to the school campus. Committee member Alan Carpenito said the construction workers should park on School Street and will probably require six to eight parking places. “There’s not enough money in the budget to pay for more workers than that,” he added. Ballantine suggested there will be parking for the teachers in the Congregational Church parking lot.
Committee member Bill Fink asked whether the general contractor will be on site. “He will be there on site every day,” replied Carpenito. Brown reported that Carlisle School Building and Grounds Supervisor David Flannery “agreed to be the point of contact” for the school. Ballantine suggested they not “overtax” Flannery. Storrs asked how the committee members will receive updates on the project. Ballantine said that the general contractor will keep in touch with Flannery and someone from the Highland Committee. Carpenito added that the architect will also check on the project. ∆
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