The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 24, 2010

School Building Committee hears Planning Board ideas, mulls access

The Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC) met on September 16 to consider a variety of comments and suggestions submitted by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission regarding the school renovation plan. In addition, the SBC discussed the difficulties of getting the youngest students from their classrooms to gym, lunch and music in the Corey Building during the construction phase.

The Planning Board had brought up a number of concerns (See “Planning Board reviews Carlisle School project,” September 17) and Planning Board Chair David Freedman attended this meeting.


There will be a reduced number of parking spots during construction. School Building Committee Chair Lee Storrs said there have been discussions with the Congregational Church but nothing has been finalized. Currently, buses are parking down by Spalding Field during the school day. Storrs suggested that if needed, “We may want to ask [to have] the buses park at Banta-Davis,” freeing up spots by the field.

Church Street traffic debated

The Planning Board had asked whether Church Street could occasionally be used as a two-way street so westbound construction traffic would not have to go through the center of town. Freedman said the Police Chief does not want Church Street to become two-way for deliveries, only for emergencies. Storrs suggested the committee allocate funds for police details so Church Street could be used as a two-way street during deliveries.

Freedman also suggested that a baseline be taken of the current condition of Church and School Streets so at the end of the project, these roads can be restored, if necessary, to current conditions. Carlisle’s Owner Project Manager Sean Fennell agreed it was a good idea to take a video of existing road and building conditions.

Communication with community

Another topic concerned communication. Storrs wants parents and abutters to be informed and aware of current construction activities. Fennell expects to get a list of abutters so two-week notices can go out to them. Carlisle Superintendent Joyce Mehaffey said she’ll use “The Buzz” and the Carlisle School Association (CSA) to send out information. Storrs said, “Sounds like we’re in good shape.” Mehaffey asked for a camera to be mounted so progress of the new building can be monitored by all.

One of the biggest reasons to keep people informed is the blasting and jack-hammering that will be needed to create trenches and two cisterns. It was decided that neither of these loud activities should be done while students are in school. The committee hoped the reduced hours would not slow progress. Pre-blast surveys will have to be done within either a 250-foot or 500-foot radius, as decided by the Board of Selectmen. SBC member Bob Pauplis explained that the energy waves from blasts drop off significantly with distance.

Solar panels proposed

The committee discussed solar panels. Pauplis worried about the cost of removing a system when the roof gets replaced. Storrs said the roof will be guaranteed for 20 years. He is not worried about the extra cost. SBC member Bill Risso asked Fennell to apply for grants for solar energy. Storrs agreed, “We should do it.” Fennell said he will draft a request-for-proposal.

Building material recycling limited

After a discussion on trying to reuse concrete from the demolished materials, it was decided that it was not a good idea. The concrete would need to be crushed which is a noisy process and it causes a lot of dust. Pauplis said that Connecticut was changing its rules on recycling asphalt. This may have implications in Massachusetts, causing this project not to reuse asphalt pavement.

Drainage issues may cost extra

The Planning Board is concerned with drainage and flooding problems between the Robbins and Wilkins buildings. After some discussion, Larry Barton said, “It is not part of the scope we have been discussing so far. It is not part of the scope that MSBA has approved for reimbursement . . . We may not be able to pack it into this project.” Bill Fink suggested it was worthwhile to do it now. Risso suggested that they look at it, put together a proposal and ask the town. Storrs suggested that it could be done as a change order at the end of the project. Risso agreed they should hold it until later.

Signage priced

Signage was also discussed. HMFH Architect Arthur Duffy said interior signage was included in the project. Fennell said the budget includes $20,000 for signs. He expects $5,000 to $6,000 will be needed for stainless steel lettering to place on the building. He also expects two directional signs to be placed on Church and School Streets. Storrs said, “I want the signs to be consistent with the design.”

Wetland issue resolved

Conservation Commission (ConsCom) Administrative Assistant Mary Hopkins submitted a memo to the Planning Board with several recommendations. The ConsCom is concerned if work falls within the buffer zone, the area within 100 feet of the Bordering Vegetated Wetland. If so, the project could require a ConsCom review. The SBC discussed the proposed location of a fence, which was to have been in the buffer zone, and decided it was better to move the fence rather than pay several thousand dollars to have the wetland flagged and a report generated. Fennell thought the fence would have to move by 20 feet, which will decrease the temporary play area.

How will Spalding students reach Corey during construction?

During the construction phase, there is concern about how Spalding Building students, who are the youngest, will get from their classrooms to the gym or the cafeteria in a timely and safe manner. The plaza will be blocked off due to the new construction. They could walk through the Robbins Building and the Link Building and head down steep stairs at the far end of the Wilkins Building. From there, the students would walk outside the length of the Wilkins Building and then must get through the Corey building to their destination.

A new door would have to be put in and a ramp would have to be built to get the students up to the second floor of Corey for this scheme. The steep staircase would need to be covered to keep it clear during winter. This route could take five- and six-year olds a while. This phase of the construction is expected to take place from January, 2011 to April, 2012, through two winters.

Since the route described above would not work for handicapped students and it may take too long, a second idea is to build two ramps and cut several doors so students can cut through the current office area and move directly into the Corey Building. Further estimates will be done to flesh out this idea.

A suggestion had been made earlier to convert space in Spalding into a lunch room to reduce travel between buildings for Spalding students. Storrs noted after the meeting that there would be issues to be overcome for this idea, such as maintaining the proper temperature of the food. He added that the SBC is still looking at options. There will be a trial walk with students to see how long it takes to reach Corey using the various detours.

Bills, HAZMAT expenses

In routine business at their September 2 meeting, the committee had voted to recommend to the Selectmen the payment of $273,000. This included $167,172 to D’Amico for work during August, $63,545 to HMFH for design development, $1,516 to HMFH for early site work administration, $18,500 to Daedalus for project management and $21,500 to Daedalus for utility back charges to the gas company. Also included was $6,350 to pay D’Amico for additional rock removal and $5,000 to widen the driveway at the loading dock. These two items are part of the first Change Order. Change Order Two includes $6,139 for a new electrical grounding system and $6,250 for an adjustment in the unit price for removal of ledge in excess of the amount specified in the contract.

Fennell on September 16 said he and HMFH Architect Arthur Duffy had not come to an agreement on two other invoices, one is for credit of $1,028 for a deleted manhole cover and the other is for $3,920 for additional gravel.

Fennell said the original budget for Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) investigation and monitoring had not been enough. Storrs explained that the original $15,000 must be augmented with $28,000. The additional funds required for monitoring the removal of hazardous materials during construction will be funded from the construction contingency. Fennell said the HAZMAT consulting amount should have been increased because the phasing of the project will require isolation and remediation of the materials in smaller sections at one time, resulting in additional inspection time. Duffy got approval to work with Universal Environmental Consulting, UEC for a design specification.

Rock drilling

Due to the amount of ledge anticipated in the proposed locations for the fire cisterns, two additional rock borings will be taken to further define the extent and type of rock in this area. Duffy stated he expects to be drilling on Columbus Day. ∆

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