John K. McCarthy, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”), announced today that the MSBA’s Designer Selection Panel (“DSP”) has recommended that a contract be awarded to Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, Inc. for the design of Monument Mountain Regional High School in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.
The DSP, which included 3 representatives from the Berkshire Hills Regional School District, studied each applicant’s qualifications, experience, and references and voted to rank the firms in the following order:
- Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, Inc.
- Tetra Tech Architects & Engineers
- Flansburgh Associates, Inc.
The selection of Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, Inc. is a significant step towards the district’s proposed project to improve fire alarm and fire suppression systems, upgrade the electrical system, reduce energy costs associated with building operations, and potentially increase square footage in instructional areas.
“It's really great when we can keep existing buildings alive,” stated Executive Director McCarthy. “The proposed project not only extends the working life of Monument Mountain Regional High, it also creates an opportunity to re-tailor the school for the educational needs of the new century.”
The DSP selects designers, programmers, and other entities providing feasibility studies in connection with public school construction projects seeking funding from the MSBA and whose construction cost will potentially be $5 million or more. The DSP, which includes the participation of local officials associated with a project, plays a critical role in the selection and recommendation of the best available design firms for the modernization and construction of Massachusetts public school facilities so that precious state dollars are invested in better designed schools that are structurally safe and encourage student learning.
The MSBA works with local communities to identify school facility needs, develop fiscally responsible and educationally appropriate solutions, and create safe, sound, and sustainable learning environments. Since its creation, the timely payments made by the MSBA to cities, towns, and regional school districts for school construction projects have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to communities.