WESTFIELD – The School Building Committee voted last night to request Mayor Daniel M. Knapik to appoint Building Inspector Jonathan Flagg to the group assessing the qualification of companies interested in bidding for work on the city’s $36 million elementary school project.
State law, Chapter 149, requires the establishment of a procurement board for any project involving state funding assistance with an estimated cost exceeding $10 million. That law also defines members of the procurement panel.
The group screening contractors for prequalification will include the project manager, Paul H. Kneedler of Skanska USA Building Inc.; the project designer, Margo Jones of Margo Jones Architects Inc.; Tammy Tefft, the city’s purchasing director, and a fourth person.
Kevin Sullivan, vice chairman of the School Building Committee, asked the members of that committee for recommendations. Flagg volunteered to serve on the procurement board because of his experience in the field of construction. Nomination of candidates was closed and the committee voted unanimously to recommend that Knapik, the appointing authority, name Flagg to the procurement group.
“It makes sense to have the city’s building inspector on this committee,” Sullivan said.
That group is not subject to the state’s open meeting law because of the confidential nature of information being provided by construction companies seeking to prequalify for the proposed school building project at the intersection of Ashley and Cross streets, during the procurement process.
The companies seeking to be qualified to bid on the 96,000-square-foot, two-story building project are not privy to the city’s design information or construction plans during the prequalification process. The process determines if the contractor has the capability and resources to successfully complete the work defined in a contract for specific construction or trade services.
The state lists 26 different subcontractor categories. The procurement group will determine how many of those categories will be needed for the building project and will also screen to prequalify general contractors for the project.
The city has an aggressive timeline to prequalify contractors, bid the job and sign contracts. The goal is to complete that process within the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, if possible.
The School Building Committee also approved a change order for the architectural service contract last night. Kneedler, project manager, said the scope of work covered under the change order was anticipated and funding included in the original project budget.
The change order includes $40,000 for information technology design work, $12,500 for a hazardous material assessment related to the demolition of the existing Ashley Street School and $60,000 for the Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) design effort.
The Ashley Street building, which was opened in 1898 as an elementary school and has served as the district’s administrative hub since 1984, is slated to be demolished as part of the construction of the new elementary school.
Dan Moriarty can be reached at [email protected]