August 29, 2012 Facilities Assessment Subcommittee Meeting

The following Districts presented on the progress of their proposed projects at the August 29, 2012 Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) Facilities Assessment Subcommittee (“FAS”) Meeting:

Whitman-Hanson Regional School District
Maquan Elementary School
Current Phase: Feasibility Study

Owner’s Project Manager: Knight, Bagge & Anderson, Inc. 
Designer: Turowski2 Architecture, Inc.

The District, the Owner’s Project Manager, and Design team presented a brief overview of the options studied during the Feasibility Study and the District’s preferred solution of a new PK-5 school facility on the Indian Head Elementary School site.  The District’s preferred solution is to demolish the two adjacent existing elementary school facilities, the Maquan Elementary School (PK-2) and the Indian Head Elementary School (3-5) to create one PK-5 facility.  The FAS members and MSBA staff inquired about the proposed conceptual layout with respect to the apparent narrow width of the corridor in the early education wing, handicap access to the second floor, the possibility of improved location of outdoor play areas, distances between the classrooms and the proposed outdoor play areas, and the need to develop a more grade-appropriate configuration.  In addition, the FAS noted that demolition of the Indian Head Elementary School will result in the recovery of a portion of state funds previously awarded to the District as part of the renovation of the Indian Head Elementary School completed in 1999.  MSBA staff is currently working with the District to reach a mutually agreeable solution to recommend to the MSBA’s Board of Directors.

Auburn Public Schools
Auburn Middle School
Current Phase: Feasibility Study

Owner’s Project Manager: Skanska USA Building, Inc.
Designer: Lamoureux Pagano Associates Architects, Inc.

The District, the Owner’s Project Manager, and Design team presented the options studied during the Feasibility Study including the District’s preferred solution to construct a new middle school on the West Street site.  The FAS and MSBA staff raised concerns about the conceptual layout of the proposed building and the need to incorporate adjustments that more appropriately reflect a clustered environment for team-based learning.  The FAS questioned the need to include fume hoods in middle school science labs and suggested that the District review the needs of the curriculum with the teachers.  In addition, MSBA staff noted the importance of the District completing the ongoing land acquisition of the West Street site and also indicated that geotechnical exploration and soil testing associated with the West Street site must be completed prior to recommending a project, scope, and budget. MSBA staff is currently working with the District to reach a mutually agreeable solution to recommend to the MSBA’s Board of Directors.

Concord-Carlisle Regional School District
Concord-Carlisle Regional High School
Current Phase: Design Development

Owner’s Project Manager: KVAssociates, Inc.
Designer: OMR Architects, Inc. 

The District, the Owner’s Project Manager, and the Design team presented the changes to the project that have occurred since the Board of Directors approved the schematic design for a Project Scope and Budget Agreement on September 28, 2011.  In response a request from the MSBA, the District and its consultants presented information relative to:  1) the new floor layout and how that layout continues to support the educational program that formed the basis of the schematic design; 2) a detailed plan for presenting the new design to the District’s member communities, ensuring that the residents still support the project despite the changes; and 3) cost information that ties to the new design.  The FAS commented on the revised layout of the building and requested that the District review whether the physics and biology room locations should be interchanged to allow maximum daylight for the biology curriculum. The FAS noted that it is unusual for the MSBA to suspend payments for a project, especially due to changes in the project scope this late in the development of the design.  The FAS requested that MSBA staff review what happened between approval of the Project and the suspension of grant payments on June 26, 2012.  In particular, the FAS asked the staff to evaluate the roles, responsibilities, and performance of the District’s consultants.  The MSBA noted that the revised design appears to support the District’s educational program but that the design development submittal received on Thursday, August 24, 2012 is still under review.  In particular, the MSBA is reviewing how the revised cost estimates submitted with the design development submittal compare to the construction budget that was included as part of the Board approved budget.  The MSBA explained that it will continue to work with the District over the next several weeks to conclude its review and understand how the review timeline coincides with the community outreach plan presented by the District.