Tag: site

Value Engineering – Part 2

At the end of each phase of the school project, the project team performs a new round of cost estimating. We are now at the end of the 60% Construction Documents phase, and at last Wednesday’s meeting the SBC reviewed the latest estimates. They came in about $2.8M above budget, so the SBC is engaged in Value Engineering to keep the project on budget. Here is a brief synopsis of the project’s cost estimation history:

  • The project scope and budget was set at $93.9M by the June 2018 Special Town Meeting.
  • In September 2018, at the end of Schematic Design, the reconciled cost estimate was $104M, and the SBC went through an extensive round of Value Engineering to keep the project on budget.
  • At a Special Town Meeting and ballot vote in December 2018, the $93.9M project was approved. The tax impact of the bond is here.
  • In April 2019, at the end of Design Development, the cost estimates determined that the project was on budget.

So if the project was on budget in April, why did the latest estimates come in higher?

  • Our project is about 75% renovation/25% new construction.
  • Two major goals of the project are to 1) ensure a comfortable and healthy learning environment, and 2) make the building net zero.
  • Meeting those goals means there is a heavy emphasis on the building envelope and the mechanical systems.
  • The 60% Construction Documents phase is when the specifications and details of those systems are determined. Therefore, this difference in cost estimates is not unusual.

The SBC began the process of cutting costs last Wednesday, and the process will continue over the next couple of weeks. An additional SBC meeting has been added on this coming Wednesday, September 4th, 7pm, in the Hartwell multipurpose room.

Click here to see a comparison of the three cost estimates.


Is the project continuing to meet its EUI (energy use intensity) goal of ~23? To find out, click here. To learn more about net zero and EUI, visit the FAQs home page.

Site Update

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Site Update

This week SMMA showed the latest refinement to the site plan. Some items of interest:

  • To meet public safety requirements, there will be a new access road around the northern and western perimeter of the school (the back of the school). Most of the road will be 8’ wide, with two exceptions: 1) the section that will service the new kitchen and loading dock; and 2) the driveway from the Smith parking lot to the CASE classrooms.
  • The “green playground” will be shifted slightly, and new equipment will be installed. The swings that are currently behind the Smith school will be relocated to the other side of the emergency access road.
  • There will be a new basketball court at the middle school end of the building.
  • A new bike/pedestrian path will connect the current sidewalk to the entrance near the Kindergarten, allowing students to access the entrance without crossing traffic.
  • A bike path will go around the parking lot and lead to Codman Pool.
  • There will be a new connection between the Auditorium and the Reed Gym. See the detail below:

See more…

More Info…

  • Next meeting is August 28th, 7pm, Hartwell multipurpose room.
  • 8/14 meeting slides are here.
  • Latest budget report is here.
  • Click here for the updated project schedule.
  • Latest logistics letter from Superintendent McFall.
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