Phase 2 of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process for a new school construction project is to assemble your Project Team. The Team for this project consists of the following elements:
A local School Building Committee
An Owner Project Manager
A Designer (Architect)
As a practical matter, there are also members of the School Department administration who must participate as ex-officio members of the team even though they are not accorded any formal status. Other local officials (e.g. Planning, Maintenance, IT, DPW, Conservation, Police, Fire, Health etc.) all have roles to fill at particular stages in the process but are not members of the team for the entire duration of the project. The elected representatives of the School Committee and Town Council must approve the project at various stages as it moves through the MSBA process.
A project is typically initiated by a formal request to the MSBA from the School Department with the necessary approvals of the School Committee, the Mayor and the Town Council. Once a project gets MSBA approval to begin it must be run by a local representative school building committee.
The Building Committee/P.C.C.
Most communities establish ad hoc building committees for individual construction projects. However West Springfield, like many cities, has a standing or permanent building committee that handles all municipal building projects. It is known as the Planning and Construction Committee or the PCC. It is a seven-member committee appointed by the Mayor. For the purposes of an MSBA-funded school construction project the building committee must include a member of the School Committee. The designated School Committee member is Patricia (Pat) Garbacik, who was also the School Committee’s PCC representative for the high school project.
The seven PCC members are as follows:
David Partridge (Chairman)
Mr. Partridge, Ms. Lacasse and Mr. Mountain are engineers. Mr. Hanifan and Mr. Mattoon are architects. Mr. Mattoon is also the Director of Planning for the Town of West Springfield.
The Owner Project Manager (OPM)
State regulations require that any local government construction project with a value exceeding $1.5 million must have an Owner Project Manager to be the community’s representatives, guide them through the process, help select an architect, monitor the project through to completion, report back to the building committee and, in the case of MSBA-funded projects, to be the Authority’s representatives also.
The OPM is selected by the building committee using a Request for Services procedure. The PCC selected the firm of NV5 from Boston from among nine (9) applicants. NV5 had previously worked on over 30 MSBA-funded school construction projects including Longmeadow High School.
NV5’s OPM team is as follows:
Thomas Murphy - Project Executive
William Cunniff - Project Director
Michael Ulichney - Documentation Review
Rob Alger - Project Representative
After NV5 was hired to be the OPM their first order of business was to advise and assist with the hiring of an architect to design the school. This task is actually the responsibility of a state Designer Selection Panel which consists of 13 members. Ten (10) of those members are appointed by the State and three (3) are representatives of the community. For this project the three local representatives were School Superintendent Michael Richard, Acting Assistant Superintendent Kevin McQuillan (the Mayor’s delegate) and Doug Mattoon from the Planning Department (who was the School Committee’s delegate). All three had previously worked on the high school project.
Following a public Request for Services (RFS) process four applicants were shortlisted by the PCC for the Designer Selection Panel’s consideration. The Panel further reduced the number to two before selecting the firm of TSKP Design Studio from Hartford, Connecticut. TSKP had a considerable history of designing schools and other buildings in Connecticut but this was their first MSBA project. For the purposes of this project they have partnered with the architectural firm of Dietz & Co. from Springfield. Dietz has prior experience working on MSBA school projects.
The Designer Team is:
TSKP Design Studios
Ryszard Szczypek - Principal-in-charge
Jessie Saylor - Architect
Dietz & Co.
Craig DeJong - Senior Project Architect
Kevin Riordon - Project Manager-Study & Design
TSKP’s consultants include the following:
Nitsch Engineering (Civil Engineers)
Milone & McBroome (Landscape Architects)
Lim Consultants Inc. (Structural Engineers)
Consulting Engineering Services (HVAC, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Electrical, Data)
The School Department Team
Michael Richard, Superintendent of Schools
Kevin McQuillan, Acting Assistant Superintendent
Jeanine Heil, Coburn School Principal
These three attend all the PCC meetings and are in regular consultation with the OPM and Designer team members. Other school department administrators participate as needed. Business Manager Carey Sheehan handles the MSBA reimbursement application process on behalf of the Town.
Mayor William Reichelt, as Chief Executive Officer of the Town and Chairman of the School Committee, is a crucial part of the process. He attends many of the PCC meetings as well as meetings with the MSBA. Each stage of the process must also be approved by the Town Council and the School Committee before the MSBA will allow the project to proceed to the subsequent stage. Our State Representative, Michael Finn, and our State Senator, James Welch, also provide vital support in securing MSBA funding for the project.