Timeline Set Out for Hiring Designer for Reconstruction of Watertown’s Elementary Schools

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The School Committee set up a timeline for the planning for the reconstruction of Watertown’s three elementary schools.

The Watertown Public Schools have taken the first small steps toward renovating all five schools, an effort known as Building for the Future. The Building for the Future team, a group of 10 school and town officials, laid the next steps in a time table that would have a designer in place by the beginning of December.

In August, the School Committee and Town Council decided to start with the elementary schools, continue to seek state funding to help pay for renovation of Watertown High School and work on Watertown Middle School a few years down the line. The schools will likely be renovated rather than being replaced with new buildings, but there will probably be some new additions at some schools.

Before any work can begin on the Hosmer, Lowell and Cunniff schools, the projects must be designed and the district must hire an owner’s project manager to oversee the work on the district’s behalf.

The Watertown Public Schools will send out a request for services (RFS) for the owner’s project manager and a request for proposals (RFP) for a design firm. the Building for the Future team drew up the RFS and RFP that will be sent out to seek bidders, School Committee Elizabeth Yusem, who is on the Building for the Future committee, reported to the School Committee Monday night.

The committee first met on Aug. 17 to put together drafts for the RFS and RFP and met a second time on Sept. 6 to refine the proposals and “examine the feasibility of each proposal in terms of understanding the political and financial nuances of each proposal and how they needed to be in sync with the town, schools, and political process needed to be adhered to in order to move forward,” Yusem said.

The Building for the Future group put out the following timeline that will get the district to the point where designers can begin planning the reconstruction of the elementary schools:

1) Sept. 20 – Advertise in central register for OPM
2) Oct. 5 – OPM bids are due
3) Oct. 10 – Town Council meeting to discuss appropriation of funds for OPM
4) Oct. 18 – Select the OPM
5) Oct. 19 – Give OPM documents for School Designer selection
6) Oct. 20 – Deadline for submission of designer proposals
7) Oct. 24 – Town Council meeting – Call for Building Committee Established by Town Council, approval of appropriation for OPM
8) Oct. 25 – OPM contract signed
9) Oct. 25-Nov. 8 – Building for the Future team evaluate designers
10) Nov. 28 – Town Council votes on funds for School Designer
11) Dec. 1 – School Designer contract signed

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