Updates provided on Boulevard project

Memorial Boulevard School.

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Memorial Boulevard Intradistrict Arts Magnet School Committee met on Thursday, Feb. 14, to hear updates from various aspects of the project.

Committee chair, Dr. Michael Dietter, opened the meeting by explaining how to access meeting minutes and agendas through the Board of Education website, and the city website, as well as a calendar of proposed meeting dates.

Dietter said it was important to recognize the agendas are available through the City of Bristol website, as this allows citizens to sign up for email alerts regarding meetings, agendas, and the posting of minutes.

Project manager Tim Callahan said the total project cost is $54.8 million, and of that, $99,384 has been spent so far. The project has a 17 percent contingency fund, as of this meeting, which Callahan said is due in part to the “very reasonable fees” of architectural firm, Quisenberry Arcari and Malik.

Callahan met with the constructors  a joint venture between D’Amato Construction and Downes Construction  in which he believes “the numbers seem to be right where they should be.”

David Heer from Downes Construction shared similar sentiments saying that “felt confident” that there is enough money for this project, as long as there is controlled spending and collaboration between the building team and the design team.

Angela Cahill from QA+M reported that her firm is doing their best to design spaces that work with the building, as the separate committee for programming has yet to finalize what classes will be taught in the building. Cahill said that some decisions can wait for more information, and that her firm is working diligently to design multi-use spaces.

This started a lively discussion, as several committee members thought it detrimental to the project schedule and costs, to have the architects designing a building without knowing the specific uses for each space.

Superintendent Sue Moreau said that this process is common, as professional staff makes decisions regarding curriculum.

The next meeting of the Memorial Boulevard Intradistrict Arts Magnet School Committee is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m., in the Board of Education, 129 Church St., room 36.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.