The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 24, 2010

Highland Building Committee shorts, September 15

Construction bids. Town Administrator Tim Goddard reported that the committee has five bids in reponse to its latest Request for Proposal (RFP) “ranging from a low of $280,000 to well over $400,000.” These bids included one from the same bidder as for the previous RFP, but the lowest bidder is Vareika Construction, Inc. of West Bridgewater. Menders, Torrey and Spencer (MTS), the project’s architects, have approved Vareika, citing prior experience with them. Pending vetting by Goddard, the committee will vote to take this lowest qualified bid and enter into a contract with Vareika Construction, Inc.

Painting sub-bids. Three bids have been solicited from state-certified painters with certified lead-paint training. These bids were due on September 22. The committee would like to preserve at least $25,000 in contingency money if possible, and will vote next week to accept the lowest bidder. The project’s contingency allowance will be affected by this bid amount. Major contingencies could be lead-paint abatement and any rot in the existing sheathing of the building. If the lowest paint sub-bids come in at $60,000 to $80,000, the project will be within budget and can proceed to the contract stage.

Paint color. Looking at chips and renderings, the committee discussed possible paint colors for the building, as recommended by MTS. The architects generally favor red or gold-ochre shades consistent with the historical period of the building. In a straw poll, the committee leans toward red with off-white (“Dover White”) trim, but has withheld a final decision until they have received other renderings and the bid process is complete.

Handicapped access. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance continues to be an issue in terms of what kind of variances may be available for a historic building. MTS recommends seeking Massachusetts and National Historic Register status to give the designers some flexibility in the preservation of historic character while complying with ADA requirements and building codes. The committee requested a site plan as well, to help determine the location of a possible new main entrance or any appended entrances to the building in relationship to the land on which the building sits and its proximity to the Carlisle School. Alan Carpenito requested that any plan for constructing appended entrances should specify that those structures would be built with fire-retardant materials.

Coordination with school. Highland Building Committee representatives will be asked to attend the next Carlisle School Committee meeting on October 5, to clarify the logistics of the building project and answer the committee’s questions. The land on which the building sits is administered by the Carlisle School Committee, so the Highland Building Committee, on which liaisons from the School Committee serve, is attempting to work closely and cooperate with school officials in the planning of the project. Parts of the project, for example the fire safety component, directly involve the school, as the two will be sharing a water cistern.

The Highland Building is under the administration of the Selectmen, who in the past charged a study group to determine the costs of, variously, weatherproofing and stabilizing the building, demolishing it and renovating it. Armed with the information provided by that group, the Selectmen asked for $445,000 in Community Preservation Funds last spring to stabilize the building until a purpose could be determined for it. Last May, Town Meeting voted to grant that sum, and the Selectmen charged the Highland Building Committee with the task of contracting the stabilization project as well as with recommending a future use for the building.

Next meeting. The committee will meet on September 23 at 7:30 p.m. to vote on the construction and sub-bids, and thereafter on Mondays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. ∆

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