Designer Selection Process

The MSBA Designer Selection Panel (DSP) has jurisdiction over the procurement of designers in connection with cities, towns, regional school districts, and independent agricultural and technical schools seeking funding from the MSBA for public school construction projects whose estimated construction cost is anticipated to be $5,000,000 or greater. The DSP designer selection process incorporates the procedures required by the General Laws of Massachusetts pertaining to designer services for public building construction (Chapter 7C, Section 44, et seq.).

Please note: The DSP is now providing districts that have school projects with estimated construction costs that are anticipated to be less than $5,000,000 with the opportunity to go through the MSBA Designer Selection Panel process to select a designer. Districts should contact by clicking here for more information.

The goals of the DSP are:

  • high quality design services for public building projects;
  • application of consistent procedures in the procurement of the design services;
  • broad-based participation of all qualified design consultants; and
  • integrity and transparency of the process for procurement of design services.

The DSP is made up of 13 appointed members and three representatives of the local city, town or regional school district who are selected by the District on a project-by-project basis. The three members who are representatives of the respective city, town or regional school district for the specific project under consideration includes one member designated by the school committee, the superintendent of schools or his/her designee and the chief executive officer of the city or town or his/her designee.

The 13 appointed members are recruited from recommended candidates of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC) and the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (the AGC) as well as MSBA staff, independent design and construction professionals.

Meetings are held at the MSBA offices in Boston and are open to the public. To encourage discussion, competitors are asked to voluntarily leave the room when designer candidates are being interviewed by the DSP for specific projects.

DSP Meetings

*Designer Selection Panel
Meeting Schedule
8:30 AM
October 2023
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
*Please note that this schedule is subject to change. The MSBA advises interested attendees to check back here or click here to confirm the date of a specific meeting.

The next meeting of the Designer Selection Panel will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

  • Meeting Agenda
  • Note:  Conference Call Meeting: Those who would like to participate in the meeting, please use the link directly below to request meeting information and instructions. Information to access the meeting will be available through the duration of the meeting, however, to assist in facilitating the registration process, we encourage participants to request the information and register by 5:00pm, Monday, October 2, 2023.

View the printable:

If you have any questions about the Designer Selection Panel Meetings, please click here.


Notification of Changes to the Affirmative Marketing Program

The Commonwealth's Affirmative Marketing Program (AMP) established under M.G.L. Chapter 7C, §6, and Governors' Executive Orders helps ensure that minority owned business enterprises (MBE) and women owned businesses (WBE) certified by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) have opportunities to participate on DCAMM and other public construction and design projects across the Commonwealth. DCAMM and the SDO announced a series of AMP program changes that will be in effect for state funded municipal projects advertised on or after July 1, 2020.

Please see the updates to the AMP here:

The MSBA has updated the following MSBA forms to align with the new AMP requirements:

  1. Designer RFS Template
  2. Designer Services Base Contract for Design/Bid/Build and CM at Risk
  3. Designer Selection Procedures
  4. Designer Services Base Contract Pages 1-2 and Attachments A, C, D, E and F

Please work with local legal counsel to review and implement the new MBE and WBE participation goals in procurement documents for design and construction services that will be advertised on or after July 1, 2020.

Information about the DSP:

            If you have any questions or want to submit the Master File Brochure Form, please click here.

  • MBE/WBE Participation Goals
  • MCPPO Certification
  • Designer Construction Cost Chart (PDF)
  • Designer Construction Cost Chart (Tableau) 
    • The Designer Construction Cost Chart includes projects approved by the MSBA Board of Directors between January 2018, and January 2023, and is based on reconciled construction budgets submitted by districts at the conclusion of schematic design. The direct construction costs per square foot above includes estimated direct building costs plus the applicable portion of the design and pricing contingency. The following is not included in the direct building cost: Special Construction, demolition, hazardous materials abatement, sitework, subcontractor bonds, insurance, general conditions, overhead and profit, GMP fee, GMP contingency, escalation to mid-point of construction, and alternates, if applicable.

DSP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Information on the Designer Roundtable

Informational Interviews

Qualified firms interested in providing designer services for Massachusetts K-12 public school projects funded through the MBSA are invited to present their qualifications to the Designer Selection Panel in a non-project-specific informational interview. These interviews are not mandatory but are offered as an opportunity for designers to introduce themselves to the DSP and present information about their overall qualifications, experience and approach. Firms will be provided approximately 15 minutes for their presentations followed by a 15 minute period of questions and answers led by DSP members. MSBA asks that interested firms review the MSBA Designer Selection Procedures and verify that they meet the minimum qualifications as a Designer in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 7C Sections 44 before requesting an informational interview. The DSP is most interested in firms that can apply for an MSBA project as the prime consultant, typically an architectural firm or A/E firm, rather than as a sub-consultant to the Designer. Please click here for additional information and to request an interview.

Contact Information

  • If you have any questions about the Designer Selection Panel, please click here .
  • All DSP meetings are held at the MSBA Offices located at 40 Broad Street, 5th Floor, unless otherwise noted.