Friday, August 13, 2010
Highland Committee modifies bid documents, criticizes architect, August 9
At the August 9 meeting of the Highland Building Committee, there was lengthy discussion of the changes to the bid documents which will soon be advertised on the Central Register. In addition, there was criticism of the project’s architectural firm, Menders, Torrey and Spencer (MTS).
According to Committee members, the firm made a serious error on the original bid documents posted this spring. Committee member Bob Stone stated that MTS had given the committee the misinformation that any portion of the project estimated at under $100,000 would not have to be designated as a sub-bid. The actual figure is anything valued at $20,000 or under. Therefore, both the roofing and painting portions of the project, both of which are estimated at $20,000 or over, should have been filed as sub-bids. Committee member John Ballantine commented that “that is a really big miss” that renders the original bid documents unlawful. That situation will be corrected in the bid documents to be posted on the Central Register on August 18, along with some other adjustments.
Additionally, Stone noted that the painting portion included de-leading of paint on the building exterior, which is actually not a painting process. He has asked MTS to send information from the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) pertaining to the de-leading process, but reported that he has not yet received the information.
The committee discussed and approved several other changes to the bid documents, including:
• Work hours will be restricted to 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Delivery hours will be restricted to accommodate school traffic hours. There will be no deliveries between 7:15 and 9:30 a.m. or between 11:35 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
• There will be a restructured pathway forming a temporary path to facilitate the drop-off of pre-school students (see article above). Parents may also drop their children off at the Corey Building and walk through to the pre-K class. (This plan does not affect the fire evacuation routes for the school; the planned egresses remain the same.)
• Contractors will use six spaces along School Street for parking and alternate parking for school staff is being planned at the Congregational Church.
• The contractor will submit names to the school business manager, so the school can do Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks on the workers. The committee will recommend periodic checks by an authorized CORI officer and will perform random identification checks to enforce CORI protection.
• No radios or smoking are allowed on the school campus and workers will not be permitted to use school rest rooms.
• The work experience requirement is now no longer limited to people who have worked on National Historic Register projects. The feeling was that the Highland Building is not even on the Register, and that requirement might scare away some otherwise qualified contractors with historic preservation experience who simply have not had the opportunity to work on Register projects.
• The work will be metered and contractors will be charged for electrical power.
Part of the second phase of the committee’s charge will include deciding on a schematic design for use as a marketing tool and in recommending possible uses for the building. The three schematic drafts submitted by MTS involve changes to the interior of the building, including two historic staircases, in order to accommodate modern codes and American Disability Act (ADA) requirements.
The committee agreed to contact preservation architect Lynn Spencer of MTS to get advice on how to deal with the historic elements of the building and still make it code and ADA compliant. MTS must still submit a rendering of the building exterior to be used for marketing purposes as well as color selection, as well as the final floor plans, when they are approved by the committee.
The committee will review the new draft of the bid documents by August 16 and will meet on August 17 at 7 p.m. if discussion is necessary or other changes must be made. Another meeting, with MTS attending to discuss the historical and ADA issues, will be convened on September 16 at 6:30 p.m. The schedule for the new bidding process has been set by Town Administrator Tim Goddard as follows: bid documents will be posted in the Central Register on August 18; there will be a walk-through of the building on August 24; bids and sub-bids for roofing and paint will be filed by September 2 and general bid opening will take place on September 9.
The committee then elected its officers, conditional on all members being sworn in. Peter Scavongelli will continue as chair, Nathan Brown will be vice chair and John Ballantine will serve as secretary. ∆
© 2010 The