Two playgrounds will be installed on the south side of the school.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Building Committee has two important actions coming: to set up a bid-qualification committee and to receive the next project estimate for the Conte School renovation.
Kenneth J. Guyette, a senior project manager with Strategic Building Solutions, the owner's project manager, said the estimators will have the 60 percent estimate for construction costs ready at Oct. 21 meeting.
The committee is currently looking at the possibility of trimming a half-million
in costs to ensure the $30 million project stays on budget.
The solicitation of pre-qualified contractors and subcontractors will also begin in anticipation of the estimate.
A pre-qualification committee will include one representative from SBS, one from designer Margo Jones Architects and at least three members from the committee or community, one of whom must be chairman.
"The statement qualification is going to be pretty basic," said Guyette. "It will be broken out enough so even a layman will be able to judge and be able to score pretty accurately."
The committee will grade the general contractor and subcontractors, which may be included in the general contractor's package, and check their references.
The final 90 percent estimate will be done by the beginning of December and final bids solicited in January.
In other business, Margo Jones reported that borings and test pits had been done along the retaining wall and an engineer will begin design plans.
"There was rock encountered at the top of the retaining wall at 14 feet and at the bottom at 14 feet," she said. "There is probably ledge but with the borings you can't tell."
Ledge could reduce the cost of the project.
Dorrie Brooks, of Margo Jones, explained some of the changes being made in the school's transformation into a kindergarten to Grade 7 school as the design is further refined.
The elevator at the entrance has to be moved a couple feet, which will actually save some money and provide an option for visitors to enter through the school office, instead of a hallway.
The elevator's original location would require underpinning, going beneath the current footings of the building.
"It's a fairly expensive process so the less we do of that the better," said Brooks. Pushing the elevator away from the wall eastward meant pushing out the glass entrance wall as well making space for a doorway into the office.
That extension also created room on the ground, allowing the server area to pushed toward the back and opening up the elevator access. Also on the ground floor, a storage area next to the cafeteria was made smaller to create a space for children to dump trash from their trays before bringing them across the hall to the kitchen.
The playground subcommittee has selected playground manufacturer Kompan after a presentation and looking over examples of its equipment.
Julie Sniezek of Guntlow & Associates said Kompan offered "very diverse playground equipment and which should meet the needs of all ages."
The playgrounds will be side by side on the south side of the building with at least one fenced in for the youngest pupils as required for accreditation. A paved area in between will be marked for hopscotch or other games. Committee members considered fencing in both areas so the younger children would have access to all the equipment.
The playground material will likely be rubber chips or, as a cost savings measure, traditional wood chips.
The designers had also priced two banks of six rows of wooden, mechanical bleachers at a cost of $47,000. Sneizek said wood was chosen to better fit in with the historic building. Some money could be saved by eliminating the mechanical operation of the pull-out bleachers but school facilities director Matthew Neville said the heavy wood seats had in the past caused injuries when being manually operated.
Sneizek said she would price out different options for plastic bleachers with and without mechanicals. The bleachers would seat 348.
The project has so far passed all the required permitting, although easements will still be required for the retaining wall work.
The next meeting will be Monday, Oct. 7.