The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 26, 2010

Carlisle School project design work moves forward

Architect Laura Wernick demonstrates a design motif for the new school building during the SBC meeting on November 18. (Photo by Cynthia Sorn)

Approximately 60% of the design and construction documents are completed, said HMFH Architect Laura Wernick at the November 18 meeting of the Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC). The committee discussed design details, the schedule and contingency funds. (See also page 1 for their discussion of fire and emergency safety details.)

The exterior of the new building will be colorful and bright, the SBC learned from Wernick. The new building will house the Pre-K, Kindergarten, and first grades. Patterns and textures will be created with two different colors of brick on the larger walls. Use of lighter concrete masonry materials will create additional patterns on the walls of the stairways and the protruding rooms.

Wernick’s goal is to create a pattern that is symbolic of children playing with arms up or standing on their hands. “We played with the pattern in different forms depending on the nature of the wall,” she explained. One of the brick colors will be a close match to the brick of the Wilkins Building, she explained. SBC member Janne Corneil suggested they consider reducing the colors. SBC member Bill Fink replied, “A small children’s school building would want to be colorful.” SBC member and first grade teacher Linda Vanaria said to Wernick, “I think it is beautiful and I can tell you are excited about it.” Wernick replied, “I am excited.”

Construction schedule

The construction schedule is “very aggressive,” warned HMFH Architect Arthur Duffy. He said that the plan to move to the new building during the 2012 April vacation week “raised eyebrows” with his staff. “It would be smoother to transition in the early summer,” he suggested.

However, if the move was rescheduled to the summer, the plaza would probably not be available during the first few months of the new school year. Owner Project Manager Sean Fennell, of Daedalus, replied, “We’ve moved two schools in a three day week-end. I believe we can do it. The teachers will be excited to get out of Spalding.” Vanaria agreed.

Replace Carlisle Castle?

Superintendent Joyce Mehaffey said that a group of parents expressed an interest in a community-funded replacement of the Carlisle Castle playground. Wernick said she would do a “ballpark proposal” without charging a fee to give the group an idea of the cost. The committee agreed the playground work is outside the scope of the building project and would not involve building project funds.

Lockers, plumbing, cable

Mehaffey told the committee that replacement of the lockers in the girls’ locker room by the gym would not be necessary. She met with Facilities Supervisor David Flannery who felt many could be repaired. “The lockers are in pretty good shape,” said Flannery. He will submit a request through Carlisle’s Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee for funds to have some lockers replaced.

HMFH Architect Arthur Duffy noted the eye wash water in the new Engineering Lab would be at the required tepid temperature. He said he spoke to a plumbing engineer “who thought it would be prudent to run a new feed to tap into the existing showers to make the water tepid” in the other science labs. Flannery said the water was already at tepid temperatures since it is sitting in the pipes, so warming it would not be necessary.

Duffy asked the committee if they would like to consider installing CAT 6A internet cable instead of the standard CAT 6. The CAT 6A would increase broadcast performance, but cost more. Duffy said the conduit would have to be larger, and he would provide the committee with a price comparison. Wernick said, “At this late date, it would be an additional fee for us to make changes.” The SBC plans to make a decision once the price comparison is available.

Local hiring

Selectmen Doug Stevenson passed on the Selectmen’s interest in encouraging local residents to work on the building project. Fennell suggested setting up a day on which interested area residents can apply for construction positions and fill out CORI paperwork. “Does it add to the cost?” asked Stevenson. “It’s more of a burden for us,” replied Fennell, referring to his company, but he said he was willing to make the arrangements. In addition, Carlisle residents have access to career support through the Metro South West Employment and Training Resources (

Contractor prequalification

Chair Lee Storrs asked the Prequalification Subcommittee to meet during the week of December 5 to review the more than 130 prequalification proposals from general contractors and subcontractors. Once the prequalified firms are chosen, the design drawings will be available to the general contractors on December 13.

Budget items

The project has two contingency funds, one for design and one for construction, each 10% of the estimated cost. The design contingency fund is now down to 3%, said Wernick. Fennell explained that as the design documents became more detailed and more accurate, and as more changes occur, the cost of the documents rises. He said it is typical to have design costs rise.

The committee approved assorted payments for the building project, including $151,720 to HMFH Architects. They also voted to spend $2,925 to finish the summer utility work. The gas line under the plaza must be shut off and a meter installed. ∆

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