Public Hearing – East Gloucester new school Building Committee Monday 9/9/19 at 6 pm City Hall

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East Gloucester Building Committee Public Hearing agenda:  Public Hearing East Gloucester Building committee Agenda 9_9_19

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Ward  1 public meeting September 30th at Gloucester Stage 630pm

 

Dore & Whittier School consolidation plans & costs heading to MSBA August 1, 2019

 

On July 18, 2019 the architectural firm, Dore & Whittier, was slated to reveal associated rough costs on new school(s) buildings– such as construction costs, swing space costs, and eligible reimbursables– with the School Building Committee. (See summary of City Council requests July 9, 2019 here.) The meetings are public. Associated costs were not transparent for the public. Instead a dollar sign rating system was illlustrated pictorially, like so:

Slide 9 comparative costs 14 options_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (11)

Why were rough estimate details cut from the presentation? A few reasons were provided, namely “MSBA does not look kindly” on public disclosure because

  • The MSBA aims to have the best possible build based on educational needs and goals rather than cost. Publishing amounts can taint the bidding or decision making.
  • The public may be too attached to numbers they hear and/or be confused because of the (lengthy) timeline. By the time shovels hit the dirt the final bids will be different.

Other districts post all associated costs, why not Gloucester? Why are the design/build firms awarded these contracts charged with bidding out the cost evaluations on projects, especially ones greater than 5 million?  Why assume this process is the only way to go about it?

Michele Rogers with Dore & Whittier announced that there were “no surprises” following review of the cost estimate comparisons. “Eliminations were easy; the most expensive were eliminated.” She concluded that this presentation was the second and final per their contract for services related to this Feasibility Study Phase. [This one feasibility study phase contract total cost is: $569,075  ($284,296 for the feasibility study and $275,704 for the future schematic design. One environmental study add on is $9075). Requests for a breakdown of all studies and plans related to new schools–at least since 2012– have gone unanswered by the school committee and architectural firm.]

The next step is to compile and deliver submission to the MSBA, the state agency tasked with reviewing Gloucester’s application for new schools.

Q. Next steps? “Submittal allows us to do geotechnical site evaluation and other necessary investigations (like traffic and environmental studies), and more design. Submittal helps us narrow down and leave behind areas we won’t bother with as we know…We’ll need to tighten the building design and handle specialized pieces. We’ll proceed from 9 options to 6 very quickly. ”

Q. What is the submission? “It’s a thick binder, maybe 10- inches thick, with all our reports to date, the educational program narrative, the space summaries approved earlier, etc.” Will the MSBA require a presentation? “No. The MSBA will review the binders within a two week turn around; then we have a two week turn around to respond.” Dunn commented to make sure the City see that. The MSBA will decide on November 13th or November 20th whether to make a recommendation to allow this proposal to proceed to the next phase: schematic  design. “Or they’ll push back and request more information.” The MSBA “will not require more work on many options as the scoring was so low. They’ll be concentrating on the top 3 or 4 options.”

Tom Ellis was present related to a staff change; Roger who managed the design phase is moving out of state so the team for Gloucester will need to be reorganized. They met with MSBA July 17, 2019 to discuss this change. (Was someone from the city at the meeting?) Chris Tremblay will be assisting. “MSBA doesn’t like surprises,” Ellis remarked.

Who does?

The costs and application should be public before it’s forwarded to the state. Chairman Jonathan Pope said he’d forward the pricing.

Presentation

Double click on pictures to enlarge the slides for the “East Gloucester Elementary School Building Committee 7.18.19″. Color coding continues as in yellow = East Gloucester; Blue = Vets; and Green = Green Street area.

And the winner (high scoring) is…

one location at Vets and both at Green

slide 13_scoring finalists_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (16)
slide 13- scoring on final 9 for state

 

REVISED SCHEDULE

“By October we’ll be back on schedule. Yes, MSBA has seen the schedule and is pleased.”

slide 16 _TIMELINE NOW_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (1)
slide 16 revised timeline expectations

 

Reminder! Community meeting July 25 6:30 PM

Fraternity Club Gloucester, Ma

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How did we get here?

Catch up posts, documents, links related to Gloucester’s school committee new school buildings/consolidation process: Continue reading “Dore & Whittier School consolidation plans & costs heading to MSBA August 1, 2019”

REMINDER tonight 6pm City Hall meeting about school plans for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA

TONIGHT June 17, 2019 Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard will host another Ward 1 Community Meeting and update on the East Gloucester Elementary School building project from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gloucester City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The agenda will include a presentation and Q&A with members of the Gloucester School Committee, the EGS School Building Committee, and our EGS designer/project manager Dore & Whittier Architects. Time allowing, any other community concerns or matters of Ward 1 interest may also be raised & discussed.

Catch up on plans (with building committee’s link added today to last week’s June 13 presentation- note Green Street changes)

Dore & Whittier presented options for new elementary schools (specifically related to consolidation of East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Schools or just East Gloucester) to the EGS Building Committee Thursday, June 13th at 5 pm.  This meeting was not a public forum. However, all present reiterated that questions and concerns are most welcome at the Ward 1 Community Meeting June 17, 2019 at City Hall (details below).

Potential options for three sites were color coded for review

  • YELLOW for East Gloucester School Site
  • BLUE for Veterans Memorial School Site
  • GREEN for Schoolhouse Road Site formerly labeled “Green Street” site

Continue reading “REMINDER tonight 6pm City Hall meeting about school plans for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA”

New school plans Dore & Whittier site options for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA

Dore & Whittier presented options for new elementary schools (specifically related to consolidation of East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Schools or just East Gloucester) to the EGS Building Committee Thursday, June 13th at 5 pm.  This meeting was not a public forum. However, all present reiterated that questions and concerns are most welcome at the Ward 1 Community Meeting June 17, 2019 at City Hall (details below).

Potential options for three sites were color coded for review

  • YELLOW for East Gloucester School Site
  • BLUE for Veterans Memorial School Site
  • GREEN for Schoolhouse Road Site formerly labeled “Green Street” site

School Committee Chairman John Pope and Brad Dore of Dore & Whittier stressed that none of these plans are final. “It’s a long process. MSBA requires options. So these 14 options will be whittled down to 8 options that must go foward. Hopefully by next April, after due diligence and consideration, we’ll move forward to the next phase.” Costs are not factored for any of these options at this point in this process so as to base school design on best fit learning requirement rather than price (see “Matrix” slide). Sub committee will vote on the criteria (see “schedule” slide). Dore & Whittier consulting related to this phase is about $70,000. “These options are diagrammatic. None prove that they can be successful or can move ahead, only that they go to the next level of review. They are just a level of screening. The process is iterative.”

For all three sites, plans focused on parking for staff and visitors without addressing neighborhood traffic impact. All proposals tried to take into account access to community spaces (ie. gym and media center) after hours, parent pick up/drop off, and separation of outdoor space and service access. MSBA guidelines suggest 80 parking spaces per 220 students and 117 per 440 students. “Typically these projects find relief granted for parking and zoning,” said Dore. While new schools are built, students will need to be relocated. Chairman Pope said they’d need to press city on options.

A round up of Pros and Cons related to the recent West Parish construction and its use and operating costs since being built might be helpful. Some West Parish feedback that made the news ranged from small inconveniences (no dishwasher) to larger concerns about design (despite ample site the gymnasium was not designed with enough space for spectators, the design of the parking lot did not take into account ease in snowplowing and numerous vehicular/traffic snafus).  There was no discussion about these proposals within a broader context of all the school properties, all the elementary schools, merging with Rockport, what happens with development of the older sites if Schoolhouse Road option is undertaken, etc.

2 POTENTIAL SITES COLOR CODE _Dore Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan

TIMELINE

targeting July 18th for cost reveals

28 TIMELINE Dore and Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan (28)

 

 

 

 

 

1)East Gloucester Elementary School Site- 5 options both single school and consolidation

Dore & Whittier ascertained that the school’s field is deeded and there’s no option of building out into that green space. It’s already off to a poor start as “the site is reduced by 2.5 acres.” [See 2016 EGS school consolidiation meeting– we already knew this. Ditto consideration of Espresso’s lot, now sold but was available.] Based on their commentary narration, Dore & Whittier does not seem in favor of this option:

  • “A two story option would have structural problems to consider and cons such as creating darker classrooms on the ground floor.”
  • “It would exceed setback lines.” “Extra permitting”
  • “Storm Water management is difficult.”
  • “Topography is difficult. All rock!”
  • There are just so many noted deficiencies. “Generally compressing into a small site means a LOT more money.”
  • Option B3 Problem as no separation of Delivery and Playtime; stressed again how difficult it is to build two stories. “Will this even get through the fire department even with so many difficult permitting issues? The plans push against lot line and trucks may not get back there.” [ed. so why is this presented as an option?]
  • Option C1 430 students is a 3 story option “will recreate parking on street basically the same as now but worse.”
  • Option D NEW School pushes building back, room for 56 parking spots
    • D1 2 story
    • E1 440 students 3 story options
    • E2 crossing property line either by right or by purchase. Brad Dore explained that decisions of that sort happen at the state level. (I think he meant long/difficult route.)
  • One question from the audience went unanswered and encouraged to attend Ward 1 meeting: “Has neighborhood high impact and infrastructure concerns been considered (water/sewer presumably affected with increase to 440 students)?”

 

 

 

2)Veterans Memorial site- 2 options

Plans here were also categorized as failing. “No doubt there are lots of challenges for this one.” Brad Dore said. “Plans here are tortured.”

  • F1 440 students with 80 parking spaces preserving ball field
  • F2 on the ball field

 

 

 

3)Schoolhouse Road / formerly Green Street Site – 2 options

  • 3 story, 440 students

 

 

 

On Monday, June 17, 2019 Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard will host another Ward 1 Community Meeting and update on the East Gloucester Elementary School building project from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gloucester City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The agenda will include a presentation and Q&A with members of the Gloucester School Committee, the EGS School Building Committee, and our EGS designer/project manager Dore & Whittier Architects. Time allowing, any other community concerns or matters of Ward 1 interest may also be raised & discussed.

1 Dore and Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan
photo: Residents observe architect proposals for new school plans Gloucester MA June 13 2019 (questions and concerns can be brought to public forum this was just a presentation by Dore & Whittier of current iterations for proposed new school building plans to the School Building Committee)

sampling of documents to bring one up to speed:

January 2015 joint City Council/School Committee meeting; presentation by Dore & Whittier HERE

Option A Maintain all four buildings as they are with same number of classes
per grade
Option B Make additions and renovations at all four schools
Option C Remove Plum Cove or Veterans and make additions and renovations
at other three (2-3 classes per grade)
Option D Remove Plum Cove and Veterans and make addition at Beeman (4
classes per grade), with 3 classes per grade at East Gloucester

September 14, 2016 GMG post school consolidation meeting  at West Parish HERE

September 27, 2016, GMG post, Ward 1 Community Discussion about new elementary schools at East Gloucester Elementary School HERE

In February 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. The MSBA cost page is here where you will find information and data about schools built either a)2008-2013  or b) 2014-current.  West Parish is in there. (List of MSBA projects completed for Gloucester) MSBA splits out designer and project management phases from the final build which means you have to go back and forth between documents. Expected life span for new buildings is 40 years.

October 2017 City Begins Quest for new Merged School: Search on for funding for East Gloucester-Veterans study, Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont HERE

October 2018 GMG post MSBA school committee school consolidation update HERE 

Spring 2019, School building committee website set up spring 2019 https://eastgloucesterbuildingproject.weebly.com.

 

Building in Gloucester, MSBA School Committee consolidation update, and MAPC City Housing forum

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Three meetings with some items in common were held at the same time this past Wednesday, October 26, 2016: the standing School Committee meeting (including updates on new building) which include members Mayor Romeo Theken and Councilor Favazza; the Housing Building/Production Plan Public Forum #2 at City Hall which includes Councilor Lundberg; and a Forum to Focus on Building in the City held at the Magnolia library and community center with 3 Councilors LeBlanc, Orlando and Nolan.

Cape Ann TV filmed the first two.  (I will add them into the post.)

 

School Committee Meeting

“We’re on a path right now.”  “Nobody said we can’t pay.”   “We’re in Phase II of a 3-phase plan. We may need to convince the community to vote for a debt exclusion to pay for it.”

The MSBA toured East Gloucester Elementary School earlier in the week to corroborate the condition related to the School Committee Statement of Interest to consolidate East Gloucester Elementary and Veterans Memorial. The School Committee relayed that the community is united in expressing a need for new schools, moving forward and not changing course. The MSBA ascertains the community’s readiness and ability to pay. Gloucester is still in the running for MSBA aid. The pool of applicants was whittled down to 30 from 89 and sometime December or January, Gloucester will learn if MSBA accepts the plan, rejects it or places it on hold. “Up, down, maybe the plan is for the East Gloucester/Veterans only.”

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Housing Production Forum at City Hall (I’ll add links to the presentation and feedback from the Magnolia forum):

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Citizens waiting in line to vote just after 6pm

Cape Ann TV video: City Council & School Committee Joint Meeting School Consolidation

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Thanks Lisa Smith! Here is the direct link to Dave’s film of the October 18th Joint Meeting of the City Council & School Committee:

http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01896&video=292415

Next school committee meeting is October 26.

Scary stories-scenes from City Council & School Committee Consolidation meeting

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See GMG for prior school consolidation meetings (with links)

Cape Ann TV link to the video (coming soon)

Building Management that works with MSBA

Samantha Verga’s Facebook Group (250+ and growing): Advocates for the Future of Gloucester Public Schools

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Ray Lamont’s Gloucester Daily Times article about the meeting

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