Concord-Carlisle Regional School District Information *Updated April 8, 2013

October 25, 2012

Concord-Carlisle Regional School District Information

October 25, 2012

On September 28, 2011, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) approved the proposed new, High School for the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District (the “District”). The Board approved an estimated maximum grant amount of $28,781,100 based on the District’s reimbursement rate of 35.58% of approved, eligible costs. 

By letter dated June 26, 2012, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (the “MSBA”) informed the District that the Project Scope, Project Schedule, and Total Project Budget for the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School Project (the “Project”), as presented by the District and its professional consultants in a meeting with the MSBA on June 14, 2012, were not in compliance with the terms of the Project Funding Agreement (“PFA”) authorized by the Board on September 28, 2011 and executed by and between the District and the MSBA on February 3, 2012. Accordingly, the MSBA immediately suspended all grant payments to the District until such time that the MSBA could determine, in its sole discretion, that the District had brought the Project back into compliance with the terms of the PFA.
In support of the District’s request to reinstate funding, the Boards of Selectmen from the Towns of Concord and Carlisle submitted letters dated August 20, 2012 and August 22, 2012, respectively, to the MSBA. Both letters cite the Selectmen’s continued support for the Project as well as an affirmation that the current design, as shown in the Design Development submittal, “illustrate[s] a building with substantially the same elements as those of the Schematic Design,” “maintain[s] the original educational objectives,” “parallels the schedule outlined in the PFA,” and is “aligned with the specific financial amounts voted at the Special Town Meetings of Concord and Carlisle in November 2011.” In addition, the School Building Committee has forwarded the Design Development submittal for the MSBA’s review as the submittal that represents the project in compliance with the terms of the PFA.  

On October 25, 2012, the MSBA informed the District that funding for the Concord-Carlisle High School project will be reinstated upon completion of the action items set forth in the MSBA’s letter.

The MSBA has received several inquiries regarding the proposed new Concord-Carlisle Regional High School project. We are providing the following information in response to these inquiries.
Designer Selection Panel
On February 15, 2011, the MSBA’s Designer Selection Panel (DSP), consisting of 12 permanent members and three representatives from the District, selected the Office of Michael Rosenfeld (OMR) as the Designer for the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School Project. At the time of the selection, the District and its Owner’s Project Manager, KVA Associates, reported that they had complied with the procedures of the DSP, including all requirements for advertising. Three firms, all of which met the minimum requirements of the Request for Designer Services, were evaluated in a public meeting of the DSP that culminated in the selection of OMR. The MSBA’s Designer Selection Panel received a letter about the designer selection process for the Concord-Carlisle High  School project, and the MSBA responded on October 15, 2012.
Model School
The District and the MSBA have worked in collaboration since 2009 to determine the most cost-effective, educationally-sound solution to the deficiencies at the existing Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.  Based on the findings of a Feasibility Study, including an analysis of the District’s site, enrollment, and educational program, the District determined, and the MSBA supported, a proposed new, originally-designed high school as the most appropriate solution.  To explore the possibility of a model school at this time would require the District to conduct another feasibility study and develop another design at its own expense, without any guarantee that the MSBA’s Board of Directors would support a project different from the one the Board approved in September 2011.
Transportation Facility Issues
The MSBA is aware that concerns have been raised about both the effect that construction of a new Concord-Carlisle Regional High School may have on the location of the District’s transportation facility and the information presented by the District on this issue.  It is important to note that site selection and student transportation policies are local issues that must be vetted and decided by the school district.  The MSBA encourages cities, towns, and regional school districts to consider a number of educational and community factors when selecting sites for their school projects, and we rely on districts, in consultation with their designers and owner’s project managers, to select sites that meet their educational needs while minimizing adverse social, environmental, and economic impacts. In this case, the District, working with the Office of Michael Rosenfeld and KVA Associates, has selected a site that the District has determined is the most advantageous for a new high school.
Value Engineering

As part of the Project Scope and Budget submittal, all Districts are required to provide a value engineering list detailing items in the design that could be changed, if necessary, to reduce the cost estimates and keep the project on budget. It is typical of the design process that, as the drawings and specifications are developed in more detail, estimated costs become more accurate. As this clearer picture of cost emerges, it is often the case that value engineering efforts are required to prioritize design features in order to stay on budget.   Typically, the sequence is as follows: a set of drawings and specifications results in estimates that are higher than the target budget, a value engineering process is undertaken, and those items that are eliminated or modified are reflected in the subsequent design submittal.
The MSBA works in partnership with cities, towns, and regional school districts across the Commonwealth to find the most educationally appropriate and fiscally responsible solutions to school building deficiencies.  As part of that collaboration, the MSBA requires that the District form a school building committee as a prerequisite to an invitation into the grant program. The school building committee is responsible for monitoring the grant process and advising the District during the design and construction of an approved project. The District, through its school building committee and in cooperation with relevant municipal entities, is the primary source of project information for its residents. To that end, the District is responsible for knowing and understanding its obligations under the Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law, and ensuring that its communications plan complies with both the letter and spirit of those laws.
Additional letter added April 2013: